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Volunteers' Week at Mr Straw's House 2024

Conservation cleaning
Conservation cleaning | © James Dobson

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.

Linda, 55

I started volunteering in 2016 following retirement from the NHS due to ill-health. I was sad to leave behind my job as a community midwife but following a brain haemorrhage, I had to dust myself down, look to the future and think what’s the next chapter in my life?

As a family we’ve always been members of the National Trust. We’ve visited numerous places and have many happy memories. My husband noticed that Mr Straw’s House was looking for volunteers, so I got in touch.

Mr Straw’s House offers numerous volunteering opportunities, welcoming visitors, working inside the house or in the tearoom. I enjoy meeting people when I work as part of the Welcome team, it’s such a pleasure sharing my love of the Straw Family. I also enjoy gardening so I’m an active member of the Gardens team too which meet every other week.

The great thing about being a volunteer is being able to help as little or as much as you feel able to commit to. The online rota is useful for booking shifts and I’ve made some good friends. Since my first shift I’ve been made to feel welcome and a valued member of the team. I would highly recommend volunteering with National Trust.

Volunteer Linda
Volunteer Linda in the back garden of Mr Straw's House | © Johanna Mather

Diane, 69

I’ve volunteered at Mr Straw’s House for 5 years. I volunteer most days and get involved with the Collections Care & Conservation team, Gardens team, House Experience team and the CMS team.

I was inspired to become a volunteer after retiring from a very stressful job. I was looking forward to taking some time out and just relaxing but soon got bored. A conversation with someone who used to work at the house, and with it being a small property with a great team, I looked at volunteering roles, applied and soon started.

Volunteering has exceeded my expectations. I’m part of a supportive and welcoming team, which gives me a sense of belonging and is very rewarding. It’s provided opportunities to learn new skills, a chance to give back to the community, and support the National Trust which is a cause I care about. I’ve also made lots of new friends and my wellbeing has improved.

I would recommend volunteering. It’s a way to connect with others and grow personally and professionally. It gives an opportunity to explore new interests, connect with the community, make a difference, and share your passions. It can enrich your life in unexpected ways, and no two days are ever the same.

Volunteer Diane
Volunteer Diane in the front garden of Mr Straw's House | © Johanna Mather

Michelle, 56

I’ve been part of the team for just over a year and fit my volunteering around paid employment. The staff and volunteers are welcoming, extremely knowledgeable, and grateful for the little time I can give.

My full-time working life was spent recruiting, organising, and working alongside volunteers and I know firsthand that the time, dedication and support they gave was crucial to the success of those organisations.

Some of my closest friends I met through volunteering, and they have inspired me to volunteer myself.

I first visited Mr Straw's House in 2001. The house left a lasting impression and I never forgot that visit. I now feel privileged to have the opportunity to share its story to its many visitors.

I thoroughly enjoy volunteering, putting my experience and skills to good use, and I love learning from other team members. I feel valued and appreciated and would recommend to anyone interested in volunteering.

Volunteer Michelle
Volunteer Michelle at the door to the house | © Johanna Mather

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 'Mr Straw's House' 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

The dining room looking towards the fireplace with an armchair to the left and dining table to the right

The history of Mr Straw's House 

Find out more about this unassuming red-brick semi which, once inside, reveals a house frozen in time filled with a treasure chest of objects and memories from inter-war Britain.

Florence Straw and William Straw standing by a horse with William Jr & Walter on it's back

Meet the Straw family 

Meet the Straws; not hoarders, nor recluses - not even very odd - just people of their time, long after their time had passed.

Cleaning items in the collection at Mr Straw's House

See the house in BBC TV’s Hidden Treasures of the National Trust 

Mr Straw’s House will be one of the central stories when Hidden Treasures of the National Trust returns to the BBC for a second series. The programme will reveal the compelling stories about the work going on behind the scenes to conserve incredible objects and properties.