Why do I volunteer at Chedworth Roman Villa?
Chedworth Roman Villa would not be such a great place to visit without our troupe of dedicated, knowledgeable and friendly volunteers.
We asked them why they choose to volunteer at Chedworth. Here's what they had to say:
Guardians of our country and its monuments
'As a student of history I am conscious of the vast sweep of history that has covered Europe and these islands. We are only here for a short-time and so we need to be conscious that we are merely guardians our country and monuments for future generations.'
'The Europe of today is still struggling to regain the position of security it had in the Roman period; the collapse of the Roman Empire has had deep-seated impacts on European society ever since and thus being associated with a Roman site is particularly poignant.'
'Having lost my employment I could no longer afford to support the Trust financially but I can help by volunteering; not only that but the setting and ride out to Chedworth/ Yanworth is delightful no matter what the weather.'
Ian, conservation team
I love the tranquillity
'Why do I volunteer at Chedworth? Mostly selfish reasons I suppose… After enduring 40 years cooped up in an office, you can hardly imagine how liberating it is to be in the open air on a Monday giving my increasingly stiff joints some mild punishment.'
'I love the natural setting and the tranquillity of the place; the swallows, the plump snails, the frogs and all the other creatures we share the place with. A sunny day is a bonus but it's just as lovely when it's damp and misty. I like to think the Romans felt the same.'
Andy, ranger team
A new challenge
'Some reasons for my volunteering: I have some spare time; I enjoy meeting people; I enjoy a new challenge, including learning about Chedworth and Roman life and sharing this with the interested and interesting visitors to the site who keep me on my toes, both literally and metaphorically; I love the setting and the beautiful approach in the quiet of the morning; I get as much back as I give.'
Janette, Site Guide, visitor services team
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else
'I have been a volunteer with the National Trust at Lanhydrock, in Cornwall, for a couple of years. When I moved to North Wiltshire I looked for somewhere close to me to continue.'
'Chedworth Roman Villa happened to be the nearest, but not knowing or having been interested in anything remotely Roman I was rather reluctant to give it a try. However after excellent initial training and getting to know the friendly staff and other volunteers I began to enjoy learning about the Romans and the Villa and now after two seasons I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!'
Wendy, site guide, visitor services team
Preserving items for the future
'I had spare time and wanted to do something different to my other hobbies. I've always had an interest in history and saw volunteering with the National Trust as a way of being more actively involved with this. The Roman era is of particular interest so given the proximity of Chedworth and the quality of the site it was a natural step to ask about volunteering there.'
'What do I get out of it? The feeling that I'm doing something practical to help preserve items for the future; the interaction with visitors - their questions keep me on my toes and hopefully my answers help them appreciate the site further; the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the site and the Roman era, generally, from the experts and specialists used by the National Trust. All this in a great location with lovely friendly people - not a bad trade-off for one day a week of my time.'
Mike B, conservation team
Interesting and much improved
'Well, here are my reasons for volunteering at Chedworth Roman Villa: the site is very interesting and has been much improved in recent years. One gets to meet quite a number of people who are all interested in the site and its history. Both volunteers and National Trust staff form a very friendly team.'
Helga, site guide, visitor services team
Repaying years of enjoyment
'To repay years of enjoyment in talking to, and learning from, guides at other National Trust sites. With retirement time, the desire to help, to add new interests in my life (Roman history – it is fascinating), keep using career skills to talk to, and enjoy exchanges with, other people. It is just such a rewarding experience. I really become excited about each visit I make to Chedworth Roman Villa.'
Mike S, site guide, visitor services team
A unique setting
'A marvellous and unique setting in which to work, very knowledgeable and supportive colleagues, extremely rewarding excitement and obvious enjoyment from both the children and their teachers.'
Mike, learning team
I've mastered being a domestic goddess
'I've mastered being a domestic goddess... and now have time for something far more interesting, in a lovely location, at exciting times for Chedworth Roman Villa, nearby and semi outdoors ...!'
Tina, visitor services team
Meeting new people
'I wanted to get more involved with the National Trust and have always had a passion about Roman villas. I can meet people and use my skills as a teacher.'
Priscilla, site guide, visitor services team
I love the woodland and the wildlife
'I volunteer at Chedworth Roman Villa to learn about Roman Britain, which I enjoy sharing with visitors, and I also love the woodland environment and its wildlife.'
Juliet, site guide
A delightful environment
'I decided to volunteer at Chedworth Roman Villa as I have time available to do voluntary work in retirement. The fascinating site in its beautiful location, together with the warm welcome of the Trust staff and volunteers, presented me with a delightful environment in which to spend time.'
Freda, site guide, visitor services team
If this has inspired you and you would like to talk to us about volunteering at Chedworth please email us or call 01242 890 256.