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Volunteer opportunities for Bamburgh Bones

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Volunteers clearing around the crypt at St Aidan's, Bamburgh Coast Care

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to have the Coast Care volunteers come to help clean the crypt at St Aidan's Church as part of the Bamburgh Bones project. Could you spare some time to help out too?

There are many reasons why you might choose to volunteer. It can offer the chance to give something back to your community or make a difference to the people around you. It might provide an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge ... regardless of the motivation, what unites everyone is the challenge and reward.

Without volunteers, the Bamburgh Bones project would not be possible. A grant of £355,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will enable the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, St. Aidan’s Parochial Church Council, Bamburgh Heritage Trust and Northumberland County Council to work together to reopen the beautiful 12th century crypt to the public once again.

The ambition of Bamburgh Bones is to use projection and interactive technology to tell the fabulous story of Bamburgh. The central message of the interpretation will concentrate on the Bowl Hole Ossuary, created in 2016 in the small second crypt. This is the last resting place of the people who lived in Bamburgh 1,400 years ago, when it was the cosmopolitan centre of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. Just like today, people lived and worked in the spectacular coastal village or travelled from far and wide to visit and enjoy its treasures.

There's a range of volunteer roles that will help bring the fascinating story to life: guided visits to the crypt, providing guided walks in the village, delivering talks, running events, supervising visiting groups and schools and assisting with research.

We've summarised the volunteer roles in the table below. You would be intitially trained as a Crypt Guide as this will provide the best introduction to the project and provide us with a strong team of volunteers who can host crypt visits. Following this initial training, we'll invite you to sign up for additional roles and any necessary training. It's possible that you may be able to carry out more than one role.

If anybody would like any additional information or to offer to volunteer, please contact Jessica Turner on 01670 622648 or email bamburghheritage@gmail.com

ROLE

NO. OF VOLS

EXPERIENCE/SKILLS REQUIRED

COMMITMENT

Crypt Guide Volunteer:

Volunteers will provide guided access to the crypt of St. Aidan’s church. They will also be required to record and report any problems or maintenance issues

3-10

A people person with an interest in heritage, able to enthuse and inspire others.

A regular commitment will be needed to enable us to provide regular opening hours and to maintain quality of delivery. This role will provide mid-week, evening and weekend opportunities.

Heritage Speaker/Presenter:

Volunteers will deliver engaging and interesting talks at local interest groups, forums and community groups

1-3

Volunteers must enjoy public speaking and be able to bring passion to the subject.

A regular commitment is preferred to maintain the quality of delivery. It is likely that this role will provide opportunities at weekend and evening meetings.

Schools and Youth Engagement Volunteer:

Volunteers will host school/group visits to the crypt and will be on hand to support schools /groups to access the educational resources.

2-5

Volunteers must enjoy working with young people and be able to deliver tasks and activities in a way that is interesting and engaging.

A regular commitment is preferred to maintain the quality of delivery. It is likely that this role will provide mid-week, evening and weekend and evening opportunities.

Heritage Walk Guide Volunteer:

Volunteers will lead guided walks in the village, linking the crypt, church and ossuary with other heritage stories in Bamburgh. Occasional opportunities to lead or assist with longer walks (St Oswalds Way) will be available.

2-5

A people person with an interest in heritage, able to enthuse and inspire others. Also able to cope with all weathers and be fit enough to lead a short and steady walk.

A regular commitment is preferred to maintain the quality of delivery. It is likely that this role will provide mid-week, evening and weekend and evening opportunities.

Heritage research Volunteer:

Volunteers will carry out historical research for the project and BHT to inform talks, interpretation and future projects. This will include cemetery survey.

1-10

Volunteers must be interested in heritage with a diligent approach and an eye for detail. We will need some volunteers with good written skills but this is not essential for everyone. Local knowledge would be an advantage.

A regular commitment is needed but this does not need to be sustained over a long period of time. Volunteers may sign up for a few weeks to help with a particular research project.

Exhibition Volunteer:

Volunteers will maintain the high standard of the exhibition within the church and crypt. This will involve regular cleaning, tidying, checking resources and stocking leaflets/merchandise sold in the church (via the honesty box). These volunteers will also monitor the exhibition material and resources that are used off site including school loans, offsite events and external exhibitions.

2-6

No prior experience is needed but volunteer must be organised and reliable. Training and instruction will be provided. Excellent communication will be required to report damage, faults or missing items.

A regular commitment is preferred. It is hoped that the exhibition team will be in the church at least twice a week to maintain the high standards of our exhibition, each volunteer making a commitment at least once a fortnight. Volunteers may also be asked to cover holiday periods for other members of the team.

Web Support Volunteer:

Volunteers will support the project in keeping the website and social material up to date, promoting annual events and coordinating mail shots to the volunteers.

1-2

A good communicator, familiar with social media/websites and competent at uploading and updating web-based content.

This role will probably be carried out be a small number of volunteers from their own homes.

Project Photographer Volunteer:

Volunteers will attend events and occasions to record the project throughout delivery. Volunteers will also take good high quality images that sum up the project, these images will be used on the project website and printed material.

1-3

A person with a great eye for an image and with their own equipment to take high quality digital images.

A commitment to the project with an ability to come along to events and occasions to capture good digital images of the project. The ability to take good general images of Bamburgh and details throughout the year for use on the project website and materials

Admin Volunteers:

Volunteers will support administrative tasks associated with the project, including but not exclusively book keeping and minute taking. Their key function is to support the project partnership and steering group.

1-2

A good communicator with excellent administrative skills.

Availability at meeting times is essential and a long term commitment is preferred to ensure continuity.

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