By putting the visitor first and working with all its partners, Beamish will be a working, living museum that is truly sustainable and will continue to grow and develop into the long term.
By engaging people with the heritage of the North East and creating a range of dynamic learning experiences, Beamish will be a world class living museum and contribute to life across the region in ways that other organisations cannot.
From the museum’s earliest days, volunteers have played an important role in meeting these goals. The museum recognises the valuable, additional support it receives from its volunteers and the special link volunteering provides with local people.
The Volunteering Policy is underpinned by the following principles:
- Beamish does not aim to introduce volunteers to replace paid staff
- Beamish will ensure that volunteers are properly integrated into the organisation
- Beamish will encourage a positive relationship between staff and volunteers
The following guidelines deal with practical aspects of the involvement of volunteers.
All prospective volunteers will be interviewed to find out what they would like to do, their skills, suitability and how their potential might be fully realised.
5. Volunteer Roles
Each volunteer will be assigned a specific volunteer role and will be issued with a written outline of this role so that they understand the specific work they will be undertaking and the expectations the Museum has of them.
6. Induction and Training
All volunteers will receive an induction into Beamish Museum and their own area of work. Training will be provided as appropriate.
All volunteers will have a named person as their main contact. They will be provided with regular supervision to feed back on progress, discuss future development and air any problems. At the end of a project or volunteering phase, an informal termination interview will seek to identify the success of the volunteering period and address any other issues.
Beamish presently does not have the resources to offer expenses to its volunteers. However, in some cases assistance may be given, if this is seen to discourage a volunteer participating in a valuable project. Individual volunteers should speak with their line manager.
All volunteers are covered by Beamish Museum’s Insurance Policy whilst they are on the premises or engaged in work on Beamish Museum’s behalf.
10. Health and Safety
Volunteers are covered by Beamish Museum’s Health and Safety Policy. All volunteers will work closely with their supervisor and will be provided with suitable materials and protective clothing when required.
The museum expects a fair and friendly working environment. Beamish has a Harassment Policy, which covers both staff and volunteers. Inappropriate behaviour by volunteers will be dealt with immediately in accordance with the Volunteer Disciplinary Procedure.
12. Equal Opportunities
Beamish Museum operates an equal opportunities policy in respect of both paid staff and volunteers.
13. Problem Solving
We aim to identify and resolve problems you may have whilst volunteering at the earliest possible stage. In the first instance, speak to your supervisor, who will seek to solve the problem in accordance with the Volunteer Complaints Procedure.
Volunteers are bound by the same requirements for confidentiality as paid staff.