skip to content

Museums and collections


Volunteer Tour Guide for LGBTQ+ Tours

Why the University of Cambridge Museums needs this role
With more than 5 million works of art, artefacts and specimens in one square mile, the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) is committed to re-evaluating the collections in order to engage new audiences. Replicating the successful LGBTQ+ volunteer tour model at the V&A and British Museum we are looking for volunteer guides who will lead tours on LGBTQ+ and non-binary themes for visitors. Through pre-existing research and your own interests, you will help us explore the hidden histories of our collections, challenging historical interpretation and current perceptions by creating new and personal responses through your tour. This may be through the objects themselves, or through the stories of individuals or groups involved in developing our collections. The collections available for the tours are the Polar Museum, Museum of Zoology, the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Classical Archaeology, providing real potential to explore alternative histories across time and place. 
Volunteer tasks
Research tour content from pre-existing research material.
Develop your own personal tour from one of the participating UCM collections.
Run your own tour to the public, encouraging participants to engage with our collections in new ways. 
Act as an ambassador for the museums and the University.
What you will gain from this role
Gain a better understanding of collections within the UCM
Develop skills and confidence in tour delivery and public speaking
Gain valuable experience in a Museum setting that will enhance your CV and set you apart in the job market
Satisfaction of giving back
Gain cultural sector contacts, and new acquaintances within a supportive environment
Join a forum of volunteers running LGBTQ+ tours for the UCM
Skills required
Volunteers from all backgrounds and experience are welcome, especially those who have an interest in exploring LGBTQ+ stories in our extensive collections. We are looking for people who are passionate about engaging with the public, and are keen to empower audiences to rethink traditional interpretations. Those with good communications skills are encouraged to apply.
Potential involvement: At least 4 x 40 min tours between 1st December 2018- 28th February 2019 as well as the training and forum days listed below. 
Location: The Polar Museum, Museum of Zoology, Museum of Classical Archaeology and the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Responsible to: Engagement Coordinator and Opening Doors Project Coordinator, University of Cambridge Museums
Training and support
Full training and support will be given for this role. Customer Service and Public Speaking training will be provided for volunteers taking part, as well as discussions around how to deal with members of the public in the event of challenging behaviour. 
Please note that all those interested in taking part will be required to attend:
An Introduction and Selection session on either the 15th or 17th of September
A training day on the 8th October
A forum to discuss progress with fellow volunteers on the 28th October
A trial tour and practical training session on either the 15th or 17th November
Be available to deliver at least 4 x 40 min tours on weekends in Dec 2018, and Jan + Feb 2019 initially. (Please note that tours for the museum of Classical Archaeology would be predominantly on weekdays instead due to opening hours of the Museum) 
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
Health and safety responsibilities
You will be responsible for your own health and safety and that of others with whom you volunteer, by reporting all potential and actual health and safety matters including accidents using the correct procedures.
To express interest in this role
Please fill out an Expression of Interest form and send it to or Opening Doors Project Coordinator, University of Cambridge Museums, c/o The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB.   
Closing date: 12 noon, 10th September
University of Cambridge Museums is a consortium of the eight University Museums, which works in partnership with the 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, 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.