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Why Volunteer for BCLM?

Take a look below at why we think volunteering with us is a great way to get involved with Black Country history.

A little about us...

Black Country Living Museum is a registered charity and first opened its doors in 1978. Our aim is to re-tell the famous Black Country story, by sharing over 300 years of history.

Our volunteers are invaluable for the protection of our local heritage; not only by supporting our staff and engaging with our visitors, but by also bringing our domestic and industrial stations to life. Volunteer support helps us offer so much more to our visitors.

With varied volunteer stations across our historic site, and opportunities developing behind the scenes, we are looking for friendly and interested folk to join our team. Our roles are flexible with different ways to get involved. Take a look at our current opportunities to start your volunteer journey with us.

Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering is a great experience. Here’s a few reasons why our volunteers believe it is beneficial to them:

  • Gain new skills – whether you’re at the start, the finish, or somewhere in the middle of your career path, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. You may have always wanted to step into a new area outside your usual day-to-day, or perhaps you’re looking to build valuable experience for your CV. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and learn something new.
  • Develop your existing skills – there are many reasons why someone may need more experience. Here at BCLM, we like to offer roles that we believe develop ‘employability skills’. This is ideal for those wanting to build that key experience and confidence when applying for future jobs.
  • Make friends – Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. When volunteering here at BCLM, you’d become a part of our growing team of friendly, capable, and passionate people all aiming towards the same goal – to preserve our local history.
  • Improved health – It is very well known that volunteering your time for just a couple of hours per week can improve a person’s health. Volunteering encourages people to go out into their local community, to get involved with something they love and meet like-minded individuals.

During your volunteering at BCLM

All our volunteers enjoy being a part of the Museum, and know how much we value their contribution. To those who offer their free time to volunteer with us, we try to show our appreciation in the following ways:

  • An open door policy
  • Monthly volunteer coffee mornings
  • Annual ‘thank you’ social event
  • Biannual staff and volunteer social evenings
  • Organised trips to other museums, giving you opportunity to meet other volunteers
  • Discount in the Museum shop and food outlets

How to apply

You can view our current opportunities to find a role that may be of interest to you. If you’d like to apply, please download an application form and send it to us via email: volunteering@bclm.com  or  post: Volunteer Manager, Black Country Living Museum, Tipton, Dudley DY1 4SQ.

In your application form, please make sure to let us know your area of interest so we can determine whether we have a suitable opportunity available for you.

The application process

Once you have sent an application form to us, your details will be passed on to the relevant Team Manager who will then assess your application. Once this information has been passed on, please allow two weeks for the manager to carefully review your application and determine whether we have the right opportunity for you.

You may be invited to come in for an informal chat with a member of the team, but don’t panic – this isn’t a job interview. We like to use this time as a ‘get to know you’ session. We will talk to you about the role we have in mind and you can ask us any questions you may have about volunteering with us.

Training and getting started

Ongoing training and support is available for the duration of your volunteering. We make sure that each person is happy with their role, responsibilities, and training before beginning their volunteering. Our training process is as follows:

  1. Formal Induction to BCLM – during this 30 minute induction, your nominated role coordinator or the Volunteer Manager will give you a guided tour of the site making sure to point out notable places, as well as showing you to your specific volunteer role area/station. You will also be given a Volunteer Handbook which includes all paperwork relevant to your specific volunteer role, including health and safety information that you need to be aware of while volunteering with us. If costume is required for your role, you will be taken to our costume room to be measured (costume to be collected on first ‘solo’ day of volunteering).
  2. Training/Buddy Session – Once you have received your induction, you will be invited to come in for an initial training session with either an experienced member of staff or fellow volunteer who will train you on all aspects of the role. Training will differ depending on the nature of the role, but if at any time you are unsure or would like to be taken through something again, please let your nominated role coordinator or the Volunteer Manager know so we can arrange further training for you (we may ask you to come in for a second training session for this).
  3. First day (solo session) – Once you are comfortable with the role and are happy, we will agree when you’ll come in for your first volunteer session. Everything you have learnt so far will be put into practice. There is a Duty Manager on site every day, and you can always go to your nominated role coordinator or the Volunteer Manager if you’d like any further support.
  4. Trial Period (first three months) – training at your own pace. We offer ongoing training as appropriate to your role and individual needs.
  5. Congratulations – Once all of the above has been completed, you are then a fully-fledged member of the BCLM Volunteer team. 

 Have we missed something? Check out our FAQ page for our most frequently asked questions.

Contact Us

If you have some spare time and would like to be involved, we’d like to hear from you! 

If you'd like to find out more, you can speak to a member of the team by calling 0121 557 9643 or send an email to   volunteering@bclm.com

 

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