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Museums and collections


Why do we need volunteers?

A small team of gallery volunteers is needed to support Museum staff during opening hours of the busy Easter and Summer holidays.  Volunteers will engage with and supervise all visitors in the galleries, and provide an important security presence.  This is vital in keeping the Museum free and accessible to the public and to those conducting academic research.

Volunteer tasks

  • Engage with Museum visitors, discuss collections, and promote activities.
  • Provide information regarding the Museum and the University.
  • Assist in clearing galleries of visitors at the end of the day.
  • Facilitate lift access for the building.
  • Provide shop/information point cover – 1 hour per shift.
  • Monitor the displays and storage drawers, and report any faults.
  • Other duties will include: replenishing leaflets, tidying gallery activities and monitoring group visits.

What you will gain from this role

  • Develop your skills and experience within a University museum setting.
  • Join a motivated, fun and enthusiastic team.
  • Meet new people within your local community.
  • Gain the satisfaction of ‘giving back’.
  • Gain valuable experience that will enhance your CV and set you apart in the job market.
  • Gain cultural sector contacts within a supportive environment.
  • Gain knowledge of the Earth Sciences.

Skills required

Volunteers from all backgrounds and experience are welcome to apply, but especially those who have an interest in working in the Museum and Heritage Sector and/or interest in Earth Sciences. Gallery volunteers should be polite, friendly and helpful to all visitors. Good observation and conversation skills are essential and applicants should have a good eye for detail. Punctuality and reliability are essential. Knowledge of and an interest in geology and the Sedgwick collections is desirable. You will be volunteering under the guidance of the Duty Manager, but much of the time will be unsupervised. The role requires long periods of standing but there is ample seating to utilise, must be able to use stairs easily.

Potential time involvement:  Hours will be 4 hour shifts according to a rota. Monday - Friday 10am - 2pm or 1pm - 5pm, Saturdays 10- 2 or 12 - 4pm.

Location: Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EQ

Responsible to: Museum Administrator and Duty Manager

Training and Support

The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences will aim to provide sufficient information and training for you to perform your volunteer role

Health and safety responsibilities

You will be responsible for your own health and safety by reporting all potential and actual health and safety matters including accidents using the correct procedures.

To Apply

Please return a completed Expression of Interest Form to: or Opening Doors Project Coordinator, University of Cambridge Museums, c/o The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB.   

Legal check requirements for this role

We have a legal responsibility to ensure that you have the right to volunteer in the UK before you can start volunteering for us. If you do not have the right to volunteer in the UK already we will not be able to progress your interest any further.

About the University of Cambridge Museums

University of Cambridge Museums is a consortium of the eight University Museums, which works in partnership with the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and other Cambridge University collections.  They include: Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle's Yard, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Museum of Zoology, Museum of Classical Archaeology, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and The Polar Museum.

The University's collections are a world-class resource for researchers, students and members of the public representing the country’s highest concentration of internationally important collections, all within walking distance of the City Centre.

About the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

The Museum is responsible for around 2.5 million fossil, rock and mineral specimens from around the world, encompassing more than 500 million years of Earth's history. The Museum plays an active part in the research and teaching activities of the University of Cambridge Department of Earth Sciences. Our activities include enhancing our public displays to offer more information and improved interpretation of our collections and providing free learning resources and activities for visitors.