Start a new chapter as a Wordsworth House volunteer

A woman helps a man try on a tricorn hat

If you’re looking for a fresh challenge and have a bit of time to spare, volunteering at Wordsworth House and Garden, or in the spectacular North Lakes countryside, could be the perfect role.

If you fancy having fun sharing your knowledge or learning something new while you help a fabulous charitable cause, why not drop by for a coffee and a chat?

Poet William’s childhood home needs people to donate a few hours once a week or fortnight. Opportunities include welcoming and chatting to visitors as a reception, room or exhibition guide, leading house tours, helping in the refreshment area and playing the replica harpsichord.

Zoe Gilbert, Wordsworth House’s visitor experience manager, said: ‘As well as aiding a fantastic cause, volunteering is a great way to meet new people, use your skills, learn new ones or broaden your CV.

‘You don’t need to be a history or literature expert to join us at Wordsworth House – although those things would be a bonus. We provide full training, so all it takes is a warm, friendly manner and a desire to get involved.’

Enjoy the outdoors

If you like spending time in beautiful countryside, you could become part of the North Lakes outdoors team. There are roles at quirky places such as the mountain bothy at Ashness Bridge (pictured below), which is heated by an open fire and welcomed nearly 8,000 visitors last year.

Keeping the open fire lit is one of the key parts of the volunteer role
volunteer lighting open fire in slate fireplace
Keeping the open fire lit is one of the key parts of the volunteer role

Or you could join the new monthly conservation work parties in Borrowdale, Buttermere Valley or Ennerdale, led by ranger Jack Deane. Each day will be a chance to find out more about the National Trust’s conservation work, while getting stuck into something practical.

Jack (second right in the picture below) said: ‘Our first work party was hedge-laying near Keswick. We demonstrated how to do it, handed out the tools, split into groups and started from opposite ends. By the end of the day, the groups met in the middle and 30 metres had been laid, providing valuable wildlife habitat.’

North Lakes hedge laying teams are improving wildlife habitats
A group of National Trust hedgelayers
North Lakes hedge laying teams are improving wildlife habitats

Jack continued: ‘I love looking back at a hedge when you’ve completed it and remembering how it was at the start of the day. You know it’s going to regenerate and live longer; you know you’ve made a difference.’

Hedge-laying volunteer Jackie Poulton (in the centre of the picture) added: ‘I had a fantastic day and I enjoyed learning a new skill.’

We’re holding a series of drop-in events to provide more information about these and other volunteer roles in the North Lakes. They will be at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on Wednesday 6 and Saturday 9 February, from 10am to 1pm, and at Wordsworth House and Garden in Cockermouth on Wednesday 13 and Saturday 16 February, also from 10am to 1pm.

If you can’t make it to one of these, email the Wordsworth House or North Lakes teams or visit our dedicated volunteering web page for more information.

We look forward to meeting you!