Through volunteering, individuals and groups play an important part in supporting our values and contribute to our strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time. We recruit volunteers who share our passion for Scotland’s historic environment to help across our estate.
We’re committed to offering a programme that matches a range of motivations, helping volunteers to learn new skills, meet new people, gain confidence or simply have fun.
As part of our team, volunteers can participate in a variety of roles, including:
- engaging with visitors
- studying biodiversity
- cataloguing our collections
- playing the piano
Here's what one of our volunteers, Charlene Forbes, had to say:
Each event is different in scale and content so volunteering is a fresh experience every time. The staff and public couldn’t be nicer towards the volunteers and at the end of the day, it’s that reception that keeps me coming back for more.”
2 Our commitment to volunteers
What our volunteers can expect:
- We provide volunteers with opportunities to get involved in our projects, while offering full support and supervision.
- We respect volunteers’ personal decisions around their level of engagement, and understand their time is given freely and without obligation.
- We make every reasonable effort to ensure volunteer activities are risk assessed, and all levels of risk are as controlled as reasonably practicable. Volunteers are covered by our insurance while performing in the role.
- We provide all relevant training to volunteers for their roles.
- We aim to be as inclusive as we can and will consider any adjustments we can reasonably make to accommodate individual health and well-being requirements.
3 How to volunteer with us
We recruit volunteers across our estate at various times throughout the year.
See our individual volunteering opportunities for information on how to get in touch.
You don’t need a background in history to volunteer with us, but an appreciation and enthusiasm towards our work is essential.
We recruit volunteers who:
- are approachable, friendly and enthusiastic
- can work in a team
- can take and act on instructions, including health and safety procedures
- have excellent communication skills, are comfortable speaking to different age groups, and are confident and happy to start conversations with visitors
- can provide directions and guidance as required
For other volunteering opportunities in our historic environment, see the Volunteer Scotland website.
4 Where you can volunteer
At our monuments
We’ve recently introduced tour guide, visitor activities and gardener roles at several of our properties. Our volunteering opportunities are designed to complement the unique aspects of a site – for example, Duff House has a volunteer pianist.
We are currently recruiting volunteers at the following monuments:
- Dryburgh Abbey - tour guides and visitor activity delivery: Individuals can do one or both roles. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01835 822 381
- Blackness Castle - volunteer gardeners: For more information email email@example.com or phone 0131 550 7616.
We will be recruiting tour guides at these sites early next year for the 2017 visitor season (Easter onwards):
To find out more and express your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0131 550 7603.
At our events
We are not currently recruiting event volunteers but please check back in the future for 2017 events.
Throughout the year, we hold events across Scotland including traditional skills festivals, the Spectacular Jousting event at Linlithgow Palace, and our award-winning Celebration of the Centuries at Fort George.
We welcome volunteers who are keen to assist with public-facing roles at these events. Volunteers at these events may also have the opportunity to help deliver informal learning activities.
With our Ranger Service
We have a range of volunteering opportunities with our Ranger Service at Holyrood Park, Linlithgow Peel and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. We work with conservation volunteers, volunteer rangers and practical conservation groups.
Within collections, data and recording
We welcome volunteers who are keen to assist with the care and cataloguing of our collections. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with original archive material, identifying and cataloguing items ranging from archaeological excavations to architects’ drawings. Volunteers can also help with the rehousing of collections to ensure that they are preserved for the future.
People with an interest in geographical information systems and data can volunteer with our Data Team, helping to create and update information in our map layers which we present through Canmore mapping and PastMap.
We expect volunteers to be proficient in a variety of computer packages such Microsoft Office.
We unfortunately do not have any vacant volunteer positions at this time. Positions will be advertised here when they become available.
At the Engine Shed
We’re working on a volunteering programme for the Engine Shed in Stirling, which will open in early 2017. Our volunteers will be able to support school visits, help out at events and talk to visitors about Scotland’s inspirational built heritage.
With our community projects
Volunteers are at the heart of several of our community projects.
Our Scotland’s Urban Past project helps people to become ‘urban detectives’ who investigate the hidden histories of Scotland’s towns and cities. We provide free training to our volunteers, who explore the stories of buildings, streets and parks, and present them in exciting and creative ways.
Visit the Scotland’s Urban Past website to see how you can volunteer.
5 Volunteering with our Ranger Service
Practical conservation groups
Many groups approach us wanting to become more actively involved in our parks throughout the year. Groups may come from private businesses or local communities, and can volunteer for just a day or on longer-term projects. These can include projects to clear litter, create or maintain paths, or manage a variety of habitats.
Our surveys provide a great opportunity for anyone interested in gaining survey and ecological experience or wanting to contribute to protecting local biodiversity. Anyone is welcome to join in, though some surveys involve steep slopes or water. We do most of our surveying work in summer, but some work takes place at other times of the year.
We seek volunteer rangers from across the community, ideally aged 16 or over. We want volunteers with a love and understanding of the locations in which they work, and who want to help others to enjoy these places too.
Volunteer ranger roles include:
- organised patrols encouraging good behaviour, promoting safety and reporting any damage
- helping with community or school groups, guided walks or events
- helping with surveys to monitor species or habitats
- getting involved in work parties, including clean-ups and conservation projects
To volunteer with our rangers, email email@example.com.