Nicola Ellen, Shoosmiths’ corporate responsibility consultant, made a return visit to Chiltern Open Air Museum on Thursday 19 April 2018 in order to volunteer her time with the charity.
Chiltern Open Air Museum was founded in 1976 with the aim of rescuing threatened buildings. More than thirty historic buildings have now been saved and rebuilt at the site, and there are more in store. The Museum only accepts buildings that would otherwise be demolished.
‘It was a gloriously warm Spring day’ Nicola explained ‘and I joined the regular gardening team who volunteer for the charity on Thursday mornings. I worked alongside three regular volunteers to tidy up two of the lavender shrub beds situated at the main entrance to the Museum. The beds are one of the first impressions formed by visitors to the site and so we worked hard raking up and removing all the accumulated leaves, then weeding and digging over the soil.
I was then invited to sit in on a brainstorming meeting whilst we drank a well-deserved cup of tea at the Museum’s café. I was fascinated as I listened to the ideas being explored by the volunteers and Marketing team that will serve to further improve visitors’ understanding and knowledge of the important role gardens and allotments have played for centuries and of course during and beyond the Second World War. I look forward to a return visit in order to see the fruits of their efforts.
During the day I witnessed a number of volunteers come and go across the site. There are about 200 volunteers and I am full of admiration for the commitment they give and the time, knowledge and energy that they share to progress the aims of the charity.’
There are many volunteering roles at the Museum from working with the buildings team, farm team, office administration, marketing, ticket selling, stewarding, adhoc projects and many more. If you’re interested in volunteering at COAM then contact 01494 871 117 or email [email protected]