National Trust Launches Appeal For New Volunteers

The National Trust is looking for volunteers to help with the charity’s work at Wordsworth House and Garden in Cockermouth and in the spectacular North Lakes countryside.

Poet William’s childhood home needs people to donate a few hours once a week or fortnight. Opportunities include welcoming and chatting to visitors as room and exhibition guides, leading house tours, selling raffle tickets, helping in the café and playing the replica harpsichord.

Zoe Gilbert, Wordsworth House’s visitor experience manager, said: ‘As well as helping a fantastic charitable cause, volunteering is a great way to make new friends, use your skills, learn new ones or broaden your CV.

‘You don’t need to be a history or literature expert – although those things would be a bonus. All it takes is a warm, friendly manner and a willingness to get involved, as full training is provided.’

Retired solicitor John Conlon, who joined the team last year as a room guide, said: ‘I feel privileged to be a volunteer at such a historic treasure. The affection visitors hold for Wordsworth House and their knowledge and interest in the story of the Wordsworths is really quite remarkable.’

The charity’s North Lakes team needs help to open Derwent Island House, Force Crag Mine and a climbers’ bothy at Ashness Bridge to the public, as well as at events such as Derwent Water Regatta and on family Easter egg hunts.

Anne Hasson, who volunteers at Ashness Bridge bothy, said: ‘I really enjoy my days there, and you meet such lovely and interesting people.’

Jessie Binns, visitor experience manager for North Lakes countryside, said: ‘If you like spending time in beautiful outdoors places and you can share your fondness for the Lake District with members of the public, we’ve got ways you can give time flexibly to suit your own diary.’

The Trust is holding a series of drop-in events to provide more information about all these roles. These will be at Wordsworth House and Garden on Tuesday 6 and Saturday 10 February, from 10am to 1pm, and at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on Thursday 8 or Saturday 17 February, also from 10am to 1pm.

Anyone unable to attend can email wordsworthhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk or northlakes@nationaltrust.org.uk or see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/volunteer . 

national trust volunteering by jonathan mcmeekin.jpg National Trust volunteering by Jonathan McMeekin
john conlon at wordsworth house by jonathan mcmeekin.jpg John Conlon at Wordsworth House