Volunteer Room Guide and Conservation Team member, Hanbury Hall
Volunteering with the National Trust is a pleasure as people from all backgrounds and age groups are welcomed, and as a result I have met some amazing people who have shared their stories and their wisdom with me. I also find it very rewarding to be able to help welcome new volunteers and to share my knowledge with them.
I was absolutely delighted to learn that National Trust Midlands were planning to attend this year's Birmingham Pride festival. I attend every year and was very excited at the prospect of being a part of The National Trust team at the event. Our 'Pride Posse' was a combination of staff and volunteers and we were all given an opportunity to contribute our ideas towards planning the day's events. It was a great experience to be part of such a friendly and enthusiastic team.
On the morning we met at the Birmingham Back to Back houses, which are conveniently situated in Hurst Street near to the parade. The day started with laughter, smiles, glitter, face paint, and lots of balloons as we proudly prepared our National Trust rainbow banner and our bags full of goodies.
For me the highlight of the day was chatting with other attendees on Victoria Square as we waited for the parade to begin. I felt overwhelmed by the warm reception we received when introducing ourselves as being a part of the National Trust team. Everybody I spoke to wanted to have a sticker or a badge and many wanted to chat about their favourite trust properties.
This was also the perfect opportunity to talk about our national project 'Prejudice and Pride', the relevance of the Sir James Thornhill paintings at Hanbury Hall, and the forthcoming production 'Orlando' to be staged at both Hanbury Hall and Knole in June.
The parade was a huge success, there were so many happy people along the route and we greeted and chatted to as many as we could. When the parade ended it was lovely to see how many people were walking around proudly wearing their National Trust stickers. I am already looking forward to attending with the team again next year, and who knows me may even have our own bus/float one day!
This is why I really enjoy volunteering with The National Trust - there are so many varied and exciting opportunities to get involved with, and volunteers are welcomed and supported every step of the way!"