Support Us

Volunteer FAQ


We’re so glad that you’re interested in becoming a Derby Museums volunteer. Here you will find answers to our regularly asked questions, including getting started, volunteer roles, expenses claiming and lots of other important things! 

Of course, if you find that you’re still left wondering, or if you feel we’ve missed something, get in touch via the contact details on this page – we’re always happy to hear from you!

First things first. What kind of volunteering is on offer?

At Derby Museums, our work is rooted in co-production, meaning that we make museums with people, not on their behalf. Not only does this result in relevant and meaningful exhibitions and galleries, but it also gives us a wealth of exciting and diverse roles for our brilliant and knowledgeable volunteer team to get involved in. 

Volunteers have contributed to a huge range of projects, from providing a friendly face to our visitors, to creating fixtures and fittings at the new Museum of Making – widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory! There’s sure to be something to inspire your interest, read on to find out more.

So, how do I become a volunteer?

The first step is to sign up to our Volunteer Opportunities Newsletter which you can do by clicking the highlighted text – this will take you to our mailing list signup page on the Derby Museums website. Just make sure to tick the Volunteer Opportunities Newsletter option when signing up.

Don’t worry- this won’t mean your inbox will be inundated with spam from us! We send our newsletters every six weeks, and you may sometimes get a bonus newsletter if we have more exciting opportunities to offer and just can’t wait to share them with you.

Our newsletters are filled with museum news and updates, as well as a fresh and exciting batch of new opportunities for you to peruse.

I’ve done that – what’s next?

Easy! If you’ve read through the newsletter and found a role you like, all you need to do is register your interest in the opportunity by clicking the highlighted email link on the newsletter. This link will be at the bottom of each opportunity and take you to an email window where you can let us know what you like the look of. One of us will then be back in touch to help you get started.

If you don’t find anything you like the look of, or if it’s all a bit bamboozling, just take note of the Finding Your Place With US sessions. These are friendly and informal chats with Pippa and Hope to talk over new roles and find out more about your interests so that we can help you find the right role(s) for you!

How much time will I be expected to give to volunteering?

The wonderful thing about volunteering with us is that we keep our roles nice and flexible – we know that life can be busy sometimes and we will never put pressure on you to give more time than you want to. 

We offer regular longer term volunteering opportunities for those who love a routine, but we also offer everything from remote opportunities that can be completed at home to little, day long projects and ideation sessions.  There’s sure to be something to suit your schedule. 

Can I volunteer in lots of roles?

Absolutely! We want you to be able to follow your interests and curiosity to find meaningful experiences within Derby Museums. If you find another opportunity that tickles your fancy, or find that the role you are in at the moment isn’t working for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know. We want you to enjoy volunteering!

Will I be trained for my volunteer role?

Yes! At Derby Museums, volunteering is about finding joy and we would never want you to feel nervous or unprepared while you volunteer with us. Relevant health and safety training will be provided, with additional training being given according to the needs of the role. Risk assessments can be viewed and there will always be a museum member of staff acting as Project Lead, who will be accessible to you while volunteering. 

We encourage volunteers to talk to us if they feel further training is needed, so please do let us know if there is any additional training or support we can provide. 

Is volunteering at Derby Museums accessible? 

We welcome applications from people with a broad range of skills, experience and availability to join our friendly and diverse team. If you have any particular access or support needs, we will work with you to accommodate these needs and ensure you have a great volunteering experience, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Can I claim travel expenses when I volunteer?

Yes – we firmly believe that you should never be out of pocket volunteering with us. Volunteers can claim £4.00 per day for travel costs, we simply ask that you keep receipts and ticket stubs to be able to do so. Ask Hope or Pippa for an expenses claim form and to find out more. 

What will I gain from volunteering?

Volunteering can be a great resource for many people, for lots of different reasons. It can help you to gain new skills, help with confidence, and help boost your CV. It can feel very rewarding to be part of a network of people who are supporting a charity by creating wonderful things together. Volunteering can help you to make friends and feel connected to a community of people. Most importantly, we believe it should bring you joy!

What about volunteering and COVID-19?

Derby Museums is a COVID-secure ‘workplace’, meaning that in person volunteering can occur in some ‘tiers’ during the pandemic. However, this does not mean that you have to come and volunteer on site if you don’t want to. Click here to look at our ‘returning to volunteer’ flow chart- please have a look at this and get in touch with any concerns or questions you may have about returning to volunteer in person. We will never ask you to return to in-person volunteering unless you feel safe, happy and supported and we will help every step of the way in the decision making process.  Unfortunately in-person volunteering will be suspended in the event that Derby is placed into higher tiers (beyond tier 3) and during national ‘lockdowns’.  

We will continue to add to remote volunteer opportunities for those engaging from home and these will also be included in the newsletter. 

Can I read the relevant health and safety forms for COVID-19?

Of course. If you make the decision to return to in-person volunteering, you will be inducted into the role and space online and in person before you commence volunteering. Health and safety forms will be provided for you to read and you can make any suggestions or ask any questions about them as we constantly evaluate and reassess with museum and government guidelines.

Face coverings, hand sanitisers and hand washing stations will be made available to volunteers.