Volunteer With Us

Interested in volunteering with us?

Have a look at what some of our volunteers have to say below, and read about the different roles we have available.

Ready to apply? Complete an online application here.

Please make a note of your Username and Password as you will require this for when you start with us.

We cover reasonable travel expenses in line with our Travel Expenses Policy. Further information will be covered during the Taster & Induction Events.

Got a question? Need support with your application?

Contact one of our team on 0117 462 3167, 0117 462 3126, or email volunteering@ssgreatbritain.org.

Visitors in Brunel Institute, March 2023
A volunteer in the library showing visitors a historical object
Staff and volunteers in the Brunel Institute


Our Volunteering Taster Sessions allow you to find out what it’s like to volunteer with us and to meet some of our friendly team. Please come along the next Taster Event for a fun day out and to see what roles we have on offer.


The next Volunteer Taster Session will be:

Wednesday 24th April 2024, 10am-12pm


We are looking for people to join our:

– Being Brunel Volunteers: Encouraging visitors to interact with the displays and to get the most out of their time in the museum.

New role: Find the role description here 

-Community Engagement Volunteers: support the delivery of onsite and offsite events, activities and projects with a variety of groups from across Bristol.

Available hours: This is an ad-hoc role Find the role description here.

-Visitor Experience Volunteers: If you enjoy meeting new people and engaging with others you would make an excellent Visitor Experience Volunteer.

Roles available for: Sunday PM Find the role description here.

-Education Assistant Volunteers: help inspire children in creative, hands-on workshops for schools.

Roles available for: Mondays from March 2024. Find the role description here.


“I love welcoming so many visitors who have a special connection with the ship: those Bristolians who ‘were there’ on 19 July 1970; people who return after a 30-year gap and can’t believe how the ship has been restored; a couple who come back every year on their wedding anniversary and relive their pirate-themed wedding. Then the tours: kids on their first post-Covid school trip scrubbing the deck and steering the ship. Finally, working with some great people, other volunteers and staff – all amazing!” – Sarah  

“I feel that my life has been privileged, both in my working and personal life and that community volunteering over the years, both at home and abroad, has been a way of returning those privileges to others. Representing the SS Great Britain Trust in the community, is not for me, just a promotional exercise, but a means of showing interest, friendship and acceptance, both to children and adults. 

This is particularly relevant on the calm days for autistic people. In greeting them, showing them around the ship or helping with an activity, even though they have difficulties and differences, we can help them feel accepted as part of our community.” – Mike  

“I wanted to volunteer at the SSGB to expand my reach outside of the University bubble. Working with the education team for a weekly shift was a brilliant way to do this – it’s been an extremely rewarding experience working with different groups of children and seeing their enthusiasm. The workshops are always great fun and are really flexible to fit around other commitments!” – Yasmin  

“Six years ago, I joined the Costume Team at the Great Britain in the role of a Victorian Seaman. The ship is a fascinating place to volunteer because of the stories about its history, engineering and revolutionary technology for the 1840’s. Being in costume seems to break down barriers with visitors and I find it becomes comfortable to relate information about the ship, its voyages and its passengers in the relaxed but professional manner that is encouraged at the Great Britain. During the six years I have also been able to take advantage of other opportunities, such as giving talks and joining in with the Harbour Festival Activities. I’m very glad I joined!” – John  


Visitor Experience

Visitor Experience Volunteers welcome visitors to the SS Great Britain and engage them across the site, bringing to life the story of the ship and the passengers and crew who travelled on her.

We particularly need people Sunday PM.

Read the role description here

Costumed Interpretation Volunteer


Our Costumed Interpretation Volunteers wear period costume on board the ship and in our museums and help bring the SS Great Britain’s stories to life for our visitors.

Read the role description here



Inspire schools and families with the history of the SS Great Britain, with a fun and interactive approach.

Our Education Assistant Volunteers help inspire the next generation, through creative, hands-on workshops for schools. These workshops have been designed to engage young people with the history of the ship using fun and interactive approaches and activities. As a volunteer you would enhance these workshops and support the workshop leaders by ensuring the children enjoy the workshops and their visits.

We’re looking for volunteers for term time Mondays from Spring 2024. 

Read the role description here


Library & Collections

Our Library Volunteers are the public face of the Library and support the Trust by improving access to the Collection as well as ensuring visitors have an enjoyable experience.

Read the role description here




By joining our curatorial team as a Museum Collection Volunteer you will assist with the cataloguing of the SS Great Britain Trust’s collection.

Read the role description here

Being Brunel Museum Volunteer

Become one of our NEW Being Brunel Museum Volunteers. 

Supporting visitors in Being Brunel to help them get the most out of their time in the museum. Encouraging visitors to interact with the displays. Delivering ‘walk & talks’ to engage visitors with the fascinating stories of Brunel. Sharing additional activities for visitors, such as handling objects or trails.

Read the role description here

Community & Engagement

Support us to become a more connected and inclusive museum community.

Community Engagement Volunteers support the delivery of onsite and offsite events, activities and projects with a variety of groups from across Bristol.  We aim to keep on building relationships with and learning from the communities that make up our city.  We’d like to find new ways that our collections and the stories of Brunel and the SS Great Britain can be of value to people across geography, age, disability, gender, sexuality, faith, socio-economic background and ethnicity.

Please note that this role is ad-hoc and less commitment than the other roles.

Read the role description here

Technical Services

Develop and share technical skills to ensure the site is ship-shape for our visitors.


Volunteers support with the presentation and maintenance of the ship’s weather deck to enhance the visitor experience.


Musician volunteers further bring the experience on the ship to life. We would love for someone to play the piano (or another instrument from the period i.e. harpist) in the Promenade saloon. Shift times would be 11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:00, but we would be happy for ad-hoc help too. 

Read the role description here


We also have some ad-hoc volunteer roles available, including: Holiday activities, discovery talks, tour guiding, and assisting with evening events. Get in touch to find out more!