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Volunteers' Week at Clumber Park 2024

Ladies laughing in the garden
Enjoying time outdoors | © John Millar

Running from 3-9 June, Volunteers' Week celebrates the amazing contributions volunteers make to communities across the UK. The week-long event is a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank volunteers for all they contribute to local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole. This year, Volunteer's Week celebrates 40 years.

Who are our volunteers?

Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, with different skills and talents. To celebrate 40 years we want to introduce you to some of the team who would like to share their volunteer journey with you.

Sue, 62

"I’ve been a volunteer for 2 years and currently have roles with the Programming team, the Food & Beverage team, the Collections team, and the Rangers. I’m in the park around three times a week.

I was inspired to volunteer after spending many happy hours in Clumber when we first moved to the area in 1988, bringing dogs and children to explore the parkland and woodland. Gradually, I learned that there was so much more to Clumber than meets the eye and I love being able to share this with our visitors. In a previous life, I was involved in rural estate management, so the conservation side of things is of huge interest, and the history of the park is a fascinating story to tell.

I’ve experienced so much. I’m a walk leader, I’ve cleaned the Chapel and got to see things that many people don’t, I’ve completed archaeological surveys, been a steward for outdoor theatre, helped set up Summer of Play, supported with the dog agility course and gathered vital feedback from our visitors.

I love the social aspect of meeting visitors. Sharing the place that I love with them, showing them hidden places, the far-flung corners of the park, the beauty of it all, and telling the stories of the people who built and lived at Clumber.

I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering. At Clumber there are volunteer roles to suit everyone. You will be warmly welcomed, whatever your skills. All you need is enthusiasm! Everyone, no matter how great or small their contribution, is a valued member of the one team that keeps Clumber Park running".

Volunteer Sue Harries
Volunteer Sue enjoys a variety of roles at Clumber | © Johanna Mather

Chris, 66

"I made the decision to leave contracted employment at Clumber at the end of June 2022. I returned as a volunteer almost a year later and usually do two 5 hour shifts a week.

Volunteering gives me the opportunity to do something I love, in an environment I know, and it gives me a focus and purpose outside my home life. Being able to continue to support the team, and meet visitors who had become friends, was a no brainer. I love being outdoors and having conversations, giving advice, and helping based on my experience.

I have the flexibility to work within the parameters of a defined role but with no contract and no specific tasks on a day-to-day basis. It's a bit like working with no targets and no pressure. Knowing that I can choose when and how often I come in and knowing that my efforts are appreciated by colleagues and peers, is important to me.

I would highly recommend volunteering. To continue contributing and have a focus for a day or two a week, without contract ties and undue pressure, works well for me".

Tammy, 36

"I’ve been a volunteer at Clumber for just over a year. I’ve been a regular visitor since childhood and after falling in love with the park and all its wonders, I knew I wanted to get involved in any way I could and share that passion with others.

I spend approximately 6-10 hours a week in the park with most of that time dedicated to taking photographs. When I first started volunteering, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I soon found out that volunteering offers wonderful and rewarding experiences and it is a pleasure working with the team here. Being a social soul, I enjoy meeting people and love sharing this beautiful place with so many, like-minded people. It has helped build my confidence and gives me a sense of achievement, which in turn has given me opportunities to learn and grow.

My work is used widely across the park, on Clumber’s social media platforms and the website. One of my images is even displayed in the Park Office reception. I feel immensely proud, and I hope that the work I produce encourages people to visit and helps others to connect with this very special place".

Frosty path through the woodland
Frosty path through the woodland at Clumber Park | © Tammy Herd

Helen, 60

I work in the Gardens team and enjoy talking to visitors and answering questions. I sometimes have to refer them to one of the Gardeners though because I don’t always know the answer, but I do like to listen to visitors’ stories, concerns and comments.

I started volunteering after retiring from a job I had really enjoyed but fell out of love with. The job had changed from being people-led to task-centred and I had become withdrawn and a little lost. On top of that I was dealing with and navigating the menopause and the world felt quite scary.

My daughter encouraged me to get out and about. She would bring me to Clumber Park for walks and we would picnic in the walled kitchen garden. It was here that I noticed the volunteers looked so happy and relaxed. That combined with the sounds of bird song and the fresh air, I just couldn't get enough of the place and soon started visiting by myself. I eventually plucked up the courage to enquire about volunteering and joined the team almost 2 years ago.

The gardens, gardening, and all those I work with have given me the headspace to feel that I have my life back and the world now feels much less frightening. If you just reach out and take that first step, volunteering at Clumber is a truly wonderful experience.

John, 86

I’ve been volunteering at Clumber Park for about 6 years. I became a volunteer after a previous activity that I took part in came to an end. Initially, I started volunteering in Cycle Hire and then the shop. After lockdown, Business Services needed support with taking care of the Park Office reception. This was great opportunity for me and is where I’ve been working ever since.

I usually work about 4 hours a week. It does sometimes vary but I’m flexible with when I can work and enjoy doing some form of voluntary or charitable work each day. I can’t sit around not doing anything, I would much rather be active and be able to help where I can.

Volunteering is a great activity to take part in as it fills a day in a worthwhile way. I like being useful and it keeps me busy. I’ve made lots of friends through volunteering and would recommend it. It’s a great way to get out and about and meet new people.

Volunteer John Woodall
Volunteer, John, is part of the Business Services team | © Johanna Mather

Beth, 29

I’ve been volunteering with the Welcome team since the start of the year. I try to volunteer a couple of times a month, in 5-hour shifts, usually at the weekend. I work in an office during the week, so I was keen to do something away from a desk and a screen.

I adore the National Trust. I’ve been a member for several years and have been visiting the special places they look after ever since I was a child. The Glasshouse at Clumber is a personal favourite of mine.

When I first became a volunteer, I was most looking forward to meeting lots of new people and being a helping hand to visitors, and that’s exactly what I get to do. One of my favourite parts of the role is getting to meet all the wonderful dogs that come into the park, and enjoying the rare moments of quiet when the birds are singing – that’s pure magic, I think.

Every shift brings something new and exciting. I get to enjoy the outdoors, come rain or shine, and have learnt so much since I joined the team. Volunteering here at Clumber has 100% been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

How can I get involved?

If you'd like to volunteer with us, you must make an application to an open role via our online portal. The relevant team will then be in touch with details on interview and taster day opportunities.

To view all volunteer opportunities, please click here and type 'Clumber Park' into the search bar.

If you wish to volunteer in a particular area or team but cannot see a role advertised it means that the team is currently fully staffed and is not accepting applications at this time. Please revisit regularly to keep up to date with what opportunities are available.

You may also be interested in

An aerial view of Clumber Park estate including Chapel, Clumber House and formal gardens

The history of Clumber Park 

Discover the grand past of Clumber Park; as a hunting ground for royalty, under the care of 13 Dukes and its connections to the Second World War.

View across the lake

Our work outdoors at Clumber Park 

Grade I listed park, Clumber Park is a special and important place. Our conservation work focuses on restoring the park's historic landscapes and protecting rare habitats for the future.

3 boys, a little girl and lady cycling in woodland

Getting active at Clumber Park 

From lakeside runs to woodland rides, Clumber Park has 20 miles of trails for cyclists, runners and walkers to explore.