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 your Username and Password as you will require this for when you start with us.


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.

A volunteer in the library showing visitors a historical object
Staff and volunteers in the Brunel Institute at the ss Great Britain, 30 July 2019.


To find out more about the volunteering roles available and to meet some of the team. Please come along the next Taster Event and to see what roles we have on offer.


The next Volunteer Taster Session will be: 13th September 2023

We are looking for people to join our:


Library Volunteers: For those who want to inspire and engage visitors to the history of Brunel’s SS Great Britain this may be the role for you.

Required hours: Tuesday PM, Friday AM, Saturday 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: Weekends, bank holidays and school holidays. Find the role description here.


Summer Volunteer Roles

This summer we are also looking for people to join the crew as Summer Heritage Volunteers. Come along to our recruitment event to discover more about this exciting role.

Summer Heritage Volunteer recruitment event: Wednesday 7th June 2023, 11-1:30

Find out more about this role in the Role Descriptions section below.


“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  


Summer Heritage Volunteer*

Become part of the crew this summer. Gain interesting skills, learn about the heritage sector, meet new people and above all have fun!

Your role will include:

  • Supporting visitors to make sure they get the most out of their day.
  • Encouraging visitors to get hands on – scrubbing the deck or dressing up in Victorian costume.
  • Engaging visitors with the fascinating stories of this historic passenger ship and her crew.

Want to know more? Join us on Wednesday 7th June, 11AM-1:30PM for our drop in recruitment morning.  We look forward to meeting you!

Role description 

*Please note there are only 10 places available for this exciting role.


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 who can volunteer on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays.

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.



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.


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.

Role available for Weds 1:15pm – 4:30pm



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

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.

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. 


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!