From guiding people around the ship, improving access to the library Collection to helping with our educational activities, meet the people making a difference and find out what it's like to volunteer at Brunel's ss Great Britain.
Sarah Morris, Visitor Services Volunteer
'If you'd told me, three years ago, that I'd have the knowledge and confidence to stand-up in front of a group of visitors to the ss Great Britain and tell them the story of her working life as a passenger ship and cargo vessel along with the captains who commanded her, I'd not have believed you! And yet, from knowing almost nothing about this extraordinary ship or Isambard Kingdom Brunel, just by spending half-a-day a week alongside other volunteers and taking part in the regular updates for us I can share the enjoyment our visitors have as they get to know what I have learned.
Most days I spend some of my time on the Welcome Desk, making sure each visitor gets a warm greeting and starts their visit knowing which areas of the Great Western Dockyard to explore and the facilities they might need en route. Many visitors remember when she came back to Bristol in 1970 and we have a chat about that and the astonishing work that has been done to conserve her and transform her into a museum. Being a presence on the ship and in the Dry Dock gives me the chance to listen to visitors' experiences and answer their questions. Very often they have stories and information to share with me.
Now I am a tour guide so I have the pleasure, and challenge sometimes, of taking groups of people of all ages around the ship. I especially like to suggest children look for certain objects on the way around and imagine them coming back when they are older and what they'll remember. Overseas visitors have even prompted me to brush-up on my rudimentary European language skills but I only admit to speaking 'Franglaise'!
From my point of view, volunteering at the ss Great Britain is fun and stimulating as well as giving me plenty of opportunity to stay active in my retirement. And, it's great to be valued as a member of the whole ss Great Britain Trust team and to feel that I am contributing to this unique part of Bristol's history.'
Our volunteers play an important part in all that we do. Having our volunteer team provides more opportunity for visitors to engage with a person, ask questions and to learn more.
If you are interested in volunteering at Brunel's ss Great Britain, please visit our volunteers page for more information and news. The opening of our new museum in 2018 will create new roles and opportunities. More information on how you can get involved will be updated soon.