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Could you be our Jane Austen sharing stories of your school days at the Reading Abbey Gateway or a medieval monk explaining why Reading Abbey was built?

Arts / Entertainment volunteers needed for Reading Museum & Town Hall

Could you be our Jane Austen sharing stories of your school days at the Reading Abbey Gateway or a medieval monk explaining why Reading Abbey was built?

We’re now recruiting for costumed interpreter volunteers who will use role play to interact with visitors and help them understand the lives and stories of the people involved in the Reading Abbey Quarter’s long history. You will wear replica period costume and research your role to share fact-based historical information with the public.

The character roles on offer are medieval monks, a laundress, Tudor woman, royal figures (King Henry I, Matilda the Empress and Queen Elizabeth I) and key figures in the Reading’s history such as Jane Austen.

What will you be doing?
• Playing a role either as an individual or part of a small team
• Interacting with visitors to bring your character to life and answering their questions.
• Staying in character to create a positive encounter with the general public.
• Responding to the varying needs and interests of different visitors and to make their
visit as enjoyable as possible.
• Undertaking primary research relating to your role to ensure that visitors receive
accurate, fact-based information.

This role will suit you if you are:
• A people person
• Enthusiastic, outgoing and friendly – willing to engage with visitors
• Able to work as a team member
• No experience in drama is necessary, just an enjoyment for the performing arts or performing for and meeting people
• Happy to wear replica period costume
• Have a willingness to research and develop your character
• Have good interpersonal and communication skills
• Confident and able to use your own initiative
• Keen to learn about the history of the Reading Abbey Quarter and its inhabitants.

What will you get out of it?
• The chance to express yourself in character and really bring history to life
• Be part of a friendly team and make new friends
• Gain new skills and experiences – this will really stand out on your CV!
• Learn new facts about the history of Reading and the Reading Abbey Quarter
• Meet people from all walks of life
• Share your love of history with our visitors
• Develop your communication skills
• Above all, this role will be a lot of fun!

How much time will you need to give?
We are in the planning stages and aim to run costumed interpretation sessions around the Abbey Quarter and surrounding area on some Saturdays over the summer and at the Abbey Ruins re-opening event later this year. You will receive training and onsite mentoring to help you get into character role.

How to apply
Go to our ‘Get Involved’ webpage here: https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/explore/get-involved/volunteer-reading-museum
Read through our volunteer policy and complete the volunteer registration form. Please state if you are interested in playing a particular character.

Email your form to curator@readingmuseum.org.uk

Contact person firstname
Nicolette Evans , Volunteer Co-ordinator
Contact person's position
Their phone number?
0118 937 3400
Contact instructions?
Email is preferred.

Location description
In the Reading Abbey Quarter and town centre
Wheelchair accessible?
Not specified
Car parking for the volunteer?
Not specified
Secure bicycle parking?
Not specified
Near public transport?
How much time?
A few hours a month
What times and days of the week?
Sat AMSat PM
Availability required
All of these times
Additional timing details
There may be some mid-week opportunities as part of the promotional work and to support other museum activities.
Task type?
Arts / Entertainment
Will suit someone like this:
Self organised/motivatedHappy to work soloPublic speakerGood sense of humourSociableWants to get out and aboutEnjoys working outside
Post suitable for supported volunteering?
Not specified
Is training given?
Training description
All our volunteers are given an induction and a specialised training session will be provided.
Is support given?
Description of support
Ongoing support and mentoring will be provided to help you get into the character and role.
Are expenses paid?
Will I need my own transportation?
Will the volunteer be CRB or DBS checked?
Are references required?
Will there be an interview?
Are they properly insured?
Minimum age
Do they need a specific gender?
How many volunteers needed?
Opportunity added on
28 February 2018