Katie is one of our youngest volunteers at Croome and very much part of the team. She helps out in our Shop and also won our very first ever Lip Sync Challenge this year.
Katie Lancaster, 2018 interview
Although Katie is still one of our youngest volunteers, she’s now been here for around three years. She’s a Retail volunteer and brightens up the day of anyone who visits the shop. Will Jones from the Croome Volunteering Department sat down with Katie two years on from her first interview to discuss how she’s still enjoying it, what’s changed since 2016, and taking pictures in the Croome bath.
Will: What inspired you to want to start volunteering at Croome?
Katie: I was initially inspired by my mum who works here, she always talks about how much she enjoys it and I was keen to get involved. I joined mum in the charity fun event ‘Lip Sync’ battle with Croome staff and absolutely loved it. I actually won! After that I volunteered in the visitor reception for a bit which I liked because I felt mature in a work setting. I guess I just like to help people, and Croome provides the perfect place to be able to do that.
W: What’s the best part of volunteering at Croome?
K: Talking to the public and socialising is definitely the best bit about volunteering. I’m quite a chatty person so I love the interaction I can have every day.
W: What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
K: I’m now in the shop volunteering in the Retail Department. Day-to-day, I work on the tills, tidy the shelves and toy spinner, do ice cream runs on sunny days, and take pictures to be used on our social media platforms like Twitter. I took some pictures of mistletoe that the official Croome Twitter used at Christmas; that was great. During the last half term I also held a charity bake sale for ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ at Croome and I was so pleased that all the volunteers and staff liked the cakes I baked and donated to the charity. I raised £150 for SU2C which smashed my £100 target!
W: What do you think has changed at Croome since you’ve started?
K: There’s been lots of changes: new staff, a new ‘Fast Track’ part of reception, we’ve got a new Croome cat called Pepper, but the bit I like most has to be that there’s more engagement with the public now-a-days, probably because my confidence has grown so much by volunteering here.
W: What’s your favourite part of Croome?
K: All of it! The new bits of the court that they’ve opened up to the public are great, the bath on the first floor is a cool talking point. I once snuck in with friends and took a picture of me in the bath! The canteen has a great set-up with lovely cakes, I actually saw my Head Teacher in there a few weeks ago but was too embarrassed to go and say hello!!
W: What’s your favourite story about Croome?
K: From the past, it’s got to be the stories of the planes and the RAF base that was here during the Second World War, it’s so cool to see and hear about all the amazing women that lived here. From the present, the ‘Lip Sync’ battle was so fun, and it’s brilliant that staff and volunteers here at Croome are up for doing that sort of thing.
W: What do I do when you’re not volunteering?
K: At the moment, I’m really into my photography, art, I watch YouTube channels and pretend to be a Vlogger, and I also like to hang out with my friends a lot.
W: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about volunteering with the National Trust?
K: I’d say that you’ve got to find an area you enjoy most, because I started in reception and although I liked it in there I’m now in the shop and that’s been even better. Don’t be afraid to change your mind as the staff and other volunteers are all very friendly wherever you go. I actually told my mum to swap into the shop!!