Volunteer call from museum

A Sheffield museum is marking national Volunteers Week by launching a hunt for new recruits of its own.

By Julia Armstrong
Tuesday, 04 June, 2019, 18:18
West Bar police, fire and ambulance station decked out for a visit by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1905

The National Emergency Services Museum is looking to sign up new volunteers in a variety of front-of-house and support roles.

This includes a team to help manage and maintain its collection of around 200 historic and vintage vehicles, volunteers to catalogue and record items within the museum’s collection, people to meet and greet some of the 30,000 visitors it welcomes each year.

A vintage fire engine, part of the collection at the National Emergency Services Museum in Sheffield

They’re even looking for someone to drive a fire appliance for the museum’s ever-popular fire engine ride experience!

A week of promotional activity through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is culminating on Saturday (June 8).

The museum is hosting its first-ever Explore Volunteering event between noon and 2pm.

The session aims to give people interested in volunteering a chance to explore the roles available, meet with current volunteers and take a tour of the museum’s historic home.

CEO Matthew Wakefield, pictured by a 47ft RNLI lifeboat

Holly Roberts, museum curator, said: “As an entirely self-funded museum we rely hugely on our fantastic volunteers, who are massive part of our ongoing success. But as we grow we’re really hoping to expand our volunteer team.

“There's lots of reasons people choose to volunteer, whether it’s for work experience, to meet new people or just pursue a passion or hobby.

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“Where we’re different is that, because we’re a relatively small team, our volunteers really do get stuck in to every aspect of our museum and play a big part in our story.

“We’re also passionate advocatse of inclusive volunteering communities; we work alongside the Autism Centre for Supported Employment and other organisations in offering opportunities for those with additional needs.”

A Morris Minor police car, part of the museum collection

A fire engine that served in the Blitz, one of the UK’s last surviving horse-drawn ambulances and a full-sized lifeboat are just some of the treasures that visitors to the museum can discover.

Completed in 1900, the West Bar building that now houses the museum was one of the first purpose-built combined fire, police and ambulance stations. It housed innovative features such as a ‘drop pole’ and electric call-out system.

It was the brainchild of Chief Constable John Jackson and Chief Fire Officer William Frost.

Jackson recognised the need for a combined emergency services hub in the increasingly bustling city centre. He, Frost and architect Joseph Norton also took inspiration from a visit to the New York Fire Department in 1898.

*Potential volunteers can register for the Saturday session through Eventbrite or by emailing info@emergencymuseum.org.uk.

More details about the volunteer roles available are online at www.emergencymuseum.org.uk.