Volunteer opportunities at Sutton Hoo
Want to volunteer with the National Trust? Here at Sutton Hoo, we’re always looking for people to join the team. Find out about the range of varied opportunities on offer, how to go about applying and also hear from some of our volunteers about their experiences.
We are so lucky to have a wonderful volunteer team at Sutton Hoo. From welcoming visitors to looking after our second-hand bookshop and getting to grips with the archaeology, our volunteers bring passion and enthusiasm to everything they do. Each member of the team makes an important contribution to the enjoyment of our many visitors and the successful operation of this special site. We are very proud of them all!
Why join us?
With so many different types of volunteering opportunities at Sutton Hoo, there really is something to suit all ages, interests and abilities. Becoming a volunteer at Sutton Hoo offers you so many benefits.
• Learn about the fantastic history of this special place
• Become part of a friendly and dedicated team
• Enjoy and explore the local landscape
• Meet people from all walks of life and make new friends
• Use your existing skills and learn new ones
• Develop your career and improve your CV
Ways to volunteer at Sutton Hoo
There is a wide variety of flexible volunteering opportunities at Sutton Hoo. Making the decision to become part of the team offers the chance to learn new things, use your experience and skills to help bring the story of Sutton Hoo to life, and to gain fulfilment and make friendships along the way. Here are some of the ways you can become part of the team:
House experience volunteers
There are two roles you can get involved with and both offer something different. If you love to meet and chat with people, these roles would work well for you. If you have an interest in Anglo-Saxon history and the artefacts that were found at Sutton Hoo then the role of a High Hall volunteer could be for you. If however, you are more interested in the story of the archeological excavation in 1939 you can become a Tranmer House volunteer. If you can’t decide, you can even do both! It is a great way to learn new things and engage with visitors sharing your knowledge to help them make the most of their visit to Sutton Hoo.
Visitor Experience volunteers
With a wide range of events held throughout the year at Sutton Hoo, there is always something new to discover. If you enjoy meeting people and would like to help visitors make the most of the events we offer, this role is for you. Whether you want to get involved with Sutton Hoo’s escape game; Riddlequest, help out with the photography workshops and wildlife walks or even become a storyteller the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to volunteer if you are looking for a varied role.
Learning Volunteers are part of the Children and Young People (CYP) Programming and Partnership Team. They help bring history to life for children both at Sutton Hoo and remotely via video calls. They lead visiting educational groups around the site, help with educational activities, deliver interactive Royal Burial Ground tours, deliver remote learning through conference calls and run a monthly toddler group. If any of these roles inspire you and you enjoy working with children and young people, get in touch to find out more.
Volunteers are essential to the smooth running of Sutton Hoo's busy café, both behind the scenes and out front with visitors. If you’re a good team player who loves being part of a fast-paced team, becoming a volunteer in our café could be for you. It’s a great way of being part of the visitor experience, helping to answer questions at the same time as developing your hospitality skills.
Textiles and Anglo-Saxon costume making
If you are looking for a unique opportunity and have experience in textiles or perhaps want to pick up a brand-new skill, why not join our Textiles and Anglo-Saxon Costume Making team? You'll use authentic techniques and textiles to bring the past to life and make costumes to be used across the site or as part of the displays and exhibits.
What it's like to volunteer at Sutton Hoo
Hear from some of our volunteers about what it's like to volunteer at Sutton Hoo:
'One of the things I like most about volunteering is meeting such a diverse cross-section of people. Having lived and holidayed in various parts of England, I find that it’s easy to build a rapport with visitors who come from all over the country. There’s also a great sense of camaraderie among the volunteers.'
– Richard, Sutton Hoo volunteer
'For anyone interested in volunteering, I would say apply and give it a go. I was worried about my lack of knowledge at first, but I was assured that it didn’t matter and that I’d soon pick it up – and I have. The more time I spend here, the more I want to learn, so I spent the summer reading as much as I could about the site, and it’s really sparked an interest in me.'
– Sue, Sutton Hoo volunteer
'I find being a volunteer really interesting; no two days are the same. You can be working your way through a really big pile of pots in the kitchen, and the next thing you’ll be holding someone’s dog while they get a dessert from the café. It’s the small gestures that make a big difference.'
– Tony, Sutton Hoo volunteer
'I have only recently started volunteering at Sutton Hoo, but I was made to feel incredibly welcome, and I immediately felt part of the happy and supportive volunteering team. I have much to learn, but I have already gained so much joy from sharing my love for Sutton Hoo with others. It has also been a pleasure to meet the many wonderful visitors who are keen to share their knowledge and their passion for this beautiful and historic site. I would encourage anyone with an interest in people and history to volunteer with the National Trust, as it is rewarding and enjoyable in equal measure'
– Liddy, Sutton Hoo volunteer
'It’s an absolute joy volunteering at Sutton Hoo. There’s such a wonderful sense of family amongst the staff and volunteers I felt immediately welcome and valued. And being able to spend time in such a beautiful and extraordinary place meeting people from all over the country just feels like an amazing privilege. And I can bring my dog! I can’t recommend it enough'
–Diane, Sutton Hoo volunteer
Thank you to all our volunteers who give their time to support the National Trust in many different roles.
Our volunteers make our work to look after nature and history for future generations possible. Learn more about the volunteering opportunities available and hear a selection of their stories to find out what it's like to volunteer with us.
Our supporter groups are a great way of getting involved with your local place. Find out more about how you can join in.
These frequently asked questions should give you all you need to know about who can volunteer, what it involves and how to apply.
Explore the atmospheric 7th-century Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo and discover the history and mystery of what lay beneath the earth at this special place.
Discover the work carried out on archive images of the Great Ship Burial excavation. These images, captured in 1939, helped record this fascinating discovery.
Take a new look at the historic site through updated interpretation to release stories from the past. Discover how the work was funded.