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Volunteering at a museum can be a most rewarding experience. For the volunteer is can be a way of contributing to society in a meaningful and productive way. For our museums, volunteers can help them deepen their relationships with communities, broaden the active involvement of a diverse range of people with our heritage, and more often than not they bring a range of expertise and knowledge that is invaluable to the effectiveness of the museum.

Indeed, some museums in Northern Ireland could not stay open without the support of volunteers, whilst for others volunteers enhance their capacity to provide more and better services. In addition, volunteering is seen by many as a step towards a career in the sector.

Our report Volunteering in Local Museums in Northern Ireland concluded that:

  • Volunteers perform a wide variety of museum work including research, collections care, cataloguing, tour guiding, and front of house
  • Volunteers enjoy, learn from, and benefit socially from working at museums.
  • Museum Volunteers bring passion to their work, and can be powerful ambassadors for museums, and help them to establish new connections and partnerships.

Museums and Volunteering

Taking the time to recruit and manage volunteers, and provide stimulating projects for them, can boost a museum's sustainability, and can provide a development opportunity for museum staff. NIMC provides training and support for museums and their volunteers; and is committed to promoting the benefits of volunteering in the sector.

For more information on the range of volunteering experiences available in museums throughout Northern Ireland, visit our Case Studies page.

Also, check out this blog by Jill Russell, one of the Wednesday Volunteers at National Trust - Mount Stewart, who has been faithfully keeping a diary of her work at Mount Stewart!

Volunteering Opportunites

For volunteering opportunities in local museums, please see the current opportunities page

From time to time we also carry notices of volunteering opportunities at museums across Northern Ireland. Details of these are listed in our monthly newsletter that we send to our Members. For information on becoming an NIMC Member, please visit our 'Become a Member' page.