Volunteering opportunities at the Museum

To keep the Museum open to the public and our programme of activities running, we need new recruits to our teams of Desk Volunteers and Learning & Activity Volunteers. If you are already a volunteer, or are unable to volunteer, don’t stop reading yet – you might just know or meet someone who could be interested.

So here are at-a-glance descriptions of the volunteering roles, and the staff to contact for more information or an informal chat.

Desk Volunteers

Our dedicated team of desk volunteers work a shift of between 2 and 3 hours on a regular basis, Tuesday-Friday and Sunday and Bank Holiday afternoons. Main duties are to welcome visitors, sell admission tickets and souvenirs, answer the telephone and relay enquiries to the appropriate member of staff.
Contact : Wendy-Jo Atter, Museum Admin Officer, 01799 510644

Learning & Activity Volunteers

For those who like working with families and children, an opportunity to help with preparing and running our popular holiday and half-term activities. Because this role involves direct contact with children, a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) is essential; this is arranged and paid for by Uttlesford District Council. This role would particularly suit anyone with experience of teaching and helping out at schools or running clubs and activities with young people.
Contact : Carolyn Wingfield, Curator, 01799 510640 cwingfield@uttlesford.gov.uk

Collections Volunteers

Now we are settling into our new store at Shirehill, we need volunteers to help improve the packing of collections, and cataloguing collections on computer. Accuracy in recording information and experience in using computers, especially Microsoft Excel, are necessary, but you don’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of history or archaeology. There are also roles for people who are good with a digital camera or have good manual dexterity..
Contact: Carolyn Wingfield, Curator, 01799 510640 cwingfield@uttlesford.gov.uk

Secretarial Volunteers

If you have secretarial skills which you are prepared to use to help the Museum Society,  we would love to hear from you. Contact the Society on saffronwaldenms@gmail.com

Freelance  researcher opportunity

Role Title:
Freelance researcher for Lost Language of Nature project, Saffron Walden Museum.

You will work independently to carry out essential background research into regional folk and dialect names and stories relating to birds commonly seen in Britain.
The Lost Language of Nature project at Saffron Walden Museum will make lasting improvements to the information we hold on items of bird taxidermy commonly described as “British birds”. The project aims to discover some of the lost cultural history of these specimens by recording the folk and regional dialect names and stories associated with these birds. The research resulting from this role will be used as the starting point for our community outreach activities. Museum staff will be travelling around the local area to record the community responses to the research through discussion, surveys, and audio recording.
We recognise that whilst some of these birds are referred to as “British” they in fact are migratory and spend much of the year in Africa or Asia, or else have a much wider native range than just Great Britain, this job role is limited to researching regional and English local terms and stories. Consideration of the wider global relevance of these species will form a separate strand of the Lost Language of Nature project.

• The successful candidate will work remotely and independently, using their own knowledge and initiative to research online and written sources to produce the work required.
• The work should be referenced throughout and supported by credible sources listed in a separate bibliography. Examples of appropriate sources include dialect surveys, reference books and museum records.
• To deliver the finished report in a timely manner, within the allocated deadline and budget.
Research objectives:
• To compile a list of folk or historic names used in Essex or the East of England for at least 30 birds from a list supplied by the project team.
• To research and record an index of English or British folklore, tales or traditional stories relating to these birds, and the most common themes relating to each bird e.g., loss or wealth, bad omens or good fortune, etc.
• To provide project staff with a starting point for their community outreach work.

Desirable candidate profile:
• A proven record of independent research, report writing and time management to meet a
specified budget or deadline.
• A demonstrable interest in and knowledge of British wildlife.
• A demonstrable interest in the history of language, regional dialects, etymology or folklore.

The role has a budget of £1125.00, which the project team expects to allocate as follows:
Approximately 30 birds at an estimated 2.5 hours per bird at £15.00 per hour = £1125.00
Any travel is undertaken at the discretion and expense of the successful candidate. We regret that no extra allowances can be made to cover travel costs or other expenses

.Application details:
Please apply with a CV and short covering letter detailing your suitability for the role. Examples of relevant previous work should be included as links or attached as separate documents.
Applications should be sent to llon@uttlesford.gov.uk FAO James Lumbard, Natural Sciences Officer.

Application deadline: 23:59 on Sunday 30 January.
Please direct application queries before this date to the details given above, or by phone to 01799 510641.
Office hours for email: Mon 09:00-13:00, Tue & Wed 09:00-17:30, Fri 09:00-17:00.
Office hours for phone: Tue 09:00-17:30, Fri 09:00-17:00.

Appointment details:
Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 17:00 on Friday 4 February 2022.
Candidates should be available for a short video interview on Tuesday 8 February 2022 between 15:30 and 17:15 or Wednesday 9 February 2022 between 09:30 and 11:00.
The successful candidate will be notified within one week of the final interview date.

Payment details:
The funds for this role must be spent by 31 March 2022. The successful candidate will complete the work and submit an invoice for payment by BACS on or before 28 March 2022 to allow for payment to be made before the deadline.
As this is a self-employed opportunity, the successful candidate will be responsible for their own income tax and National Insurance contributions.