Volunteering Opp: Bringing History to Life

October 11th, 2013
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Enquire about volunteering for York Archaeological Trust

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Wanting to dig into York’s past? York Archaeological Trust is an educational charity undertaking a range of archaeological and research work and well as running four city centre attractions (JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG, Barley Hall and Micklegate Bar) and a range of exciting events and festivals.

The Trust has a range of volunteer opportunities and runs three intake periods a year to welcome new volunteers to the attractions and events team. The autumn intake is now coming up focusing looking for volunteers at Barley Hall, DIG and at events across this winter.

At the medieval townhouse Barley Hall  volunteer Room Guides help to greet visitors to the Hall and encourage their interaction with its history. Volunteers don’t need a vast range of historical knowledge (they can teach that), just a passion for the past and an ability to warmly welcome people to the Hall. Volunteers usually get involved for around one full or half-day a week or fortnight.

Restored carefully to the way in which is looked back in the 1480’s, the Hall invited schools to experience their ‘Full Tudor Day’. Education Assistants help to enhance the children’s learning and experience  as a costumed assistant offering fun and engaging activities and interaction for each group. Again, you don’t need detailed historical knowledge to volunteer, just have a love of history, a desire to help inspire our younger visitors and be confident interacting with a group. Volunteers usually undertake a full or half day twice a month.

For those looking to get their hands dirty, and up close to history then DIG might be the one for you.  DIG is a hands-on archaeological attraction offering schools and families a chance to explore the world of an archaeologist.  As an Interpretation Assistants you’d to enhance the group tours,  leading tour sections. There’s also the chance to show an insight into one of the Trust’s most recent archaeological digs through guiding and the display of a handling collection with the ‘Looking Back at Hungate’ exhibition. Volunteers usually get involved for a full or half-day once to twice a fortnight.

Finally if you love events and are particularly festive there’s the opportunity to get involved in the autumn and winter festivities to come. Then Family Learning Assistant or Visitor Engagement Assistant role could be for you. Family Learning Assistants offer crafts and activities to engage  younger visitors from glow-in-the dark badges to Santa themed crafts, whilst  Visitor Engagement Assistants get involved offering welcoming refreshment or information stands.  Both roles offer involvement from November – February undertaking events up to the festive time and then at our February half-term, with the opportunity to carry on afterwards if you wish. Volunteer usually undertake around five-six events (these can be a few hours one afternoon or evening to a full day) across the event period.

No experience or expertise knowledge is needed to volunteer for any of these roles, just an enthusiasm that makes others excited about history as much as York Archaeological Trust are. A training day will be held on the 13th November. So be it at Barley Hall, DIG or jumping head first into the winter event season, if you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering for YAT simply click on the ‘Volunteer Today’ button at the right-hand side of this article, fill in your details and let YAT know what role has excited your eyes.

The deadline for the autumn intake is 20 October.

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