I always intended that when I retired I would volunteer with the National Trust.
Having valued and enjoyed membership for almost thirty years, I knew the Trust would be the right place for me to give something back to the community, with the added benefit of supporting an organisation that I have valued so much, for so long.
It was easy to volunteer - I just searched the Trust’s website for volunteering opportunities near to me and, of the many roles available in my locality, I chose to become an Audio Guides Volunteer at Chartwell; the famous home of Sir Winston Churchill, near Westerham in Kent.
In this role I was to be based in the Visitor Centre, helping to make the visitors feel welcome and introducing the new audio; the seasonal garden guides. I was made to feel very welcome from the start and if I were to sum up the experience in one word it would be “fun”. If I could use two more words I would also say that, for me, it has been “personally rewarding”.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Welcoming and engaging with our visitors and sharing Chartwell’s story is a pleasure.
The Trust helps and guides you through your experience, too. There is a small amount of mandatory e-learning to be completed, as might be expected, but that doesn’t take too long. The National Trust equips you well and I thoroughly enjoyed the proactive “making visits meaningful” course, which took place over half a day in the house itself.
I would thoroughly recommend volunteering with the National Trust - you don’t even need to be retired to do so. The hours can be tailored to suit your availability and the time you wish to give.
I am so glad I became a National Trust Volunteer.