Volunteers who help the National Trust at Avebury have been praised for creating a particularly welcoming atmosphere for visitors to the stone circle and Tudor manor.
Recent surveys have shown high numbers of people reporting a very warm welcome which the Trust has put down to the work of the volunteers.
For every member of staff working for the National Trust there are six volunteers working alongside them. At Avebury the Trust’s volunteers have been developing a reputation for making visitors feel welcome, informed and relaxed.
“These fantastic people come from all walks of life – teachers, carers, accountants, actors, roles too numerous to mention,” said Abby George, Marketing and Communications Officer at Avebury. “Each brings their own skills and unique perspective to their work and usually go on to learn something new too.”
Lynne Bearman and Kate Stevens explain what makes them volunteer for the National Trust at Avebury Manor.
“I love the history of the people who lived in the Manor. Since the BBC programme “The Manor Reborn” five years ago, such life has been breathed into the house and that makes it so much fun to work here. I love explaining to people the detail in the small things that you would not think of and learning new facts about the collection,” says Lynne.
Kate explains her reasons. “We all have a laugh, we meet interesting people from all over the world and I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here, and not all about history.”
The roles that people undertake here are hugely varied. Some work front of house to meet and greet visitors in the henge or farmyard, others, like Lynne and Kate, have trained as guides for Avebury Manor others for the stone circle. Some prefer to work behind the scenes, researching, gardening, cleaning, repairing or creating items for display. Others enjoy to be out in the landscape, far from the hustle and bustle of the crowd, fixing fence-posts, counting orchids or repairing tracks alongside rangers.
“At Avebury, we are incredibly proud of our volunteers,’ Abby added. ‘And our visitor surveys demonstrate that one of the most important factors in people’s enjoyment when they visit here, are the ‘warm, friendly and knowledgeable’ volunteers.”
If you are interested in joining this wonderful team you can find out more on the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury or call 01672 539250.