Volunteering With the National Trust
Many people are drawn to offering their services as a volunteer with the National Trust because of its diversity and because of its emphasis on heritage, conservation and preservation.
Whether it’s preserving an historical country house, maintaining a public footpath in a magnificent national park, acting as a guide on an important tourist attraction or simply helping with fundraising, the National Trust are constantly looking for volunteers to help them with the vast number of projects they are involved with throughout the UK so there is bound to be an opportunity for you to join in close to where you live.
Personal & Professional DevelopmentThe National Trust offers both full and part time voluntary opportunities as well as seasonal holiday work and work placement schemes. The experience will help you develop knowledge and awareness as well as improving your communication and leadership skills as well as boosting your confidence.
On a practical level, the work will also allow you to increase your skills base as you’ll receive structured training which may also be accredited. This will look good on your CV and, in fact, should you be looking to get involved as a way of increasing your employability, statistics show that over 80% of National Trust volunteers go on to paid employment or further training after they’ve completed their spell with the National Trust.
What Kind of Areas Might I Work in?There is a whole range of projects which the National Trust are involved with. From national parks and historic buildings to looking after both John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes, and lots of other projects in between, you can start to appreciate the diversity of the Trust and the potential scope of opportunities with which you might get involved but typical projects will incorporate the following areas although there are numerous others:
- Maintaining gardens or the countryside
- Working at a nature reserve on the coast
- Helping fundraising activities and administration
- Acting as a tour guide around a stately home
- Helping to preserve a National Trust property
- Working as a warden
Full-Time VolunteersIf you’re looking for a full-time voluntary post with the National Trust, you need to be over 18 and able to commit to a minimum of 21 hours a week for at least 3 months.
However, even if you can’t meet those criteria, there are still plenty of other part-time and seasonal opportunities for you to pursue.
What Are The Benefits?By helping the National Trust, you should derive a great deal of personal satisfaction in knowing that, in some form or other, you are helping to preserve and conserve a part of British heritage so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come long after your lifetime.
Imagine the satisfaction of rebuilding a path in a National Park that could be enjoyed by your grandchildren in years to come or by introducing a young person to the music of the Beatles and the great legacy they left behind.
However, in addition to the ‘good’ which you’ll be doing, you’ll also take away not just memories but many additional transferable skills and personal qualities which will be valuable tools as you carve out your own career in life if that’s your aim.
Furthermore, you’ll get to meet people you’ll never have had the opportunity to meet previously and, perhaps, even forge new close friendships that end up lasting a lifetime.
The National Trust is keen for its volunteers to go on and put their experience to good use once they have moved on. That’s why it is actively involved in working alongside other initiatives like back to work schemes such as ‘New Deal’, working with universities and colleges to provide suitable work placements.
It is also involved with partnerships with other organisations such as the Learning and Skills Council and places an emphasis on skills development by providing placements for both youths and those who are registered disabled.
Therefore, a volunteer placement with the National Trust should help you to develop your career, teach you new skills and enable you to develop new interests as well as make new friends and with not far off 50,000 volunteers helping out with the National Trust just last year alone, there are obviously lots of people who see a placement there as a great opportunity.