Meet Karen

Visitor welcome volunteer, Blickling Estate

Karen - Visitor welcome volunteer

Blickling Estate welcomes 150,000 visitors through the doors every year. We couldn't do this without our strong band of volunteers who offer a warm and friendly welcome to everyone as they arrive. One of these dedicated volunteers, Karen, who can be found on the visitor welcome desk, explains her role and passion for Blickling.

A volunteer shows a visitor a map of Blickling Estate

I first came to Blickling as a visitor after moving to Norfolk ten years ago until a change in circumstances meant I found myself looking for voluntary work.

Starting out

After seeing a banner at the entrance to the car park for a volunteer recruitment day last January, I decided to come along and find out more. I arrived not knowing where I could use my skills but after chatting to Sebastian, our Membership and Visitor Welcome Manager, I was encouraged to try working as part of the visitor reception team. It turned out that I enjoyed it so much that I decided to stay in this very friendly team.

First impressions

My initial impressions of volunteering here proved incorrect, at first I thought that I would only be able to volunteer in the house or garden but actually I was surprised by the flexibility and variety of work available at Blickling. I now work two days a week or more if required on our event days.

Why do I love volunteering?

My favourite part of volunteering is working in such as beautiful place; coming down the drive towards this stunning house every day is a pleasure. I love meeting the public and sharing my love of this special place.

Advice for anyone thinking of volunteering

Get out there and volunteer, it's a great way to meet people. I'm really glad that I took the leap and went to the recruitment day and I haven't looked back.