Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings in Bromsgrove is currently recruiting volunteers who can help bring the past to life as part of a major new initiative to engage and inspire visitors to the museum.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who has a few hours to spare, an interest in history and would like to develop skills and confidence in the museum and heritage sectors. Please contact Julia Morris on volunteer@avoncroft.org.uk for more details.

A new project funded by the Arts Council England, “Animating Worcestershire’s Museums”, will breathe new life into museum collections across the county with costumed characters to explain and demonstrate how life was lived in times gone by.

Volunteers will dress in historically accurate costumes and will be given training on how to bring the stories behind the museums’ collections to life with interaction with visitors and historical re-enactments.  They will get the opportunity to work at some of Worcestershire’s most interesting museums, learn more about their collections, develop new skills and meet new people.

No prior knowledge is required but volunteers need to have enthusiasm, commitment and a genuine interest in history.  The museums have many fascinating stories to tell about their collections and volunteers will need to enjoy dealing with people.

Volunteers will have the chance to work alongside professional historic interpreters and curators.  They will receive preparatory and “on the job” training in costume, presentation skills, historic research and the interpretation of historic collections.

Ideally, volunteers will be able to commit to a regular day at the museum during July and August when training will be taking place with museum professionals.  They will learn how to set up a building or historic activity, receive visitors, demonstrate various skills and crafts and complete end of day shut downs.

The positions are voluntary but travel expenses are offered.  Costumes, equipment and supplies for the re-enactments will be provided.

Museum director, Simon Carter, said: “We are thrilled to be a key partner in bringing our county’s history to life.  Our visitors tell us how much they enjoy talking to knowledgeable people in the buildings and this project gives us a fantastic opportunity to have costumed interpreters in our buildings more often.”

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “Investing in museums is important if we are to make the most of our country’s heritage and the rich cultural offer it presents.”

For more information, please contact Julia Morris on volunteer@avoncroft.org.uk or 01527 831363 (Wednesdays and Thursdays).