Help us bring Reading’s history to life, become a costumed interpreter!

Community Representative volunteers needed for Reading Museum & Town Hall

Bring Reading’s history to life and become one of the key figures who lived, worked or was involved in the Reading Abbey Quarter.

We’re looking for volunteers to become costumed interpreters to be our Jane Austen, her school friend, a Tudor woman, King Henry I, Reading Abbey garden monks and a medieval laundress.

As a costumed interpreter volunteer, you will wear a replica period costume and use role play to get visitors interested in the everyday lives of people who lived in the medieval period.

Why are we doing this?

Our costumed interpretation programme is part of the Reading Abbey Revealed project, joint-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Reading Borough Council. This project saw the conservation work and successful re-opening of the Reading Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gateway last year, as well as the installation of history information boards and signposting to the Reading Abbey Quarter from the town centre.

Why we want you?

Reading Museum is looking for new volunteers to join our costumed interpreter team to help visitors better understand the rich history of the Abbey Quarter.
The use of costumed role-play is a great way to help visitors to understand and empathise with the lives of the people who lived, visited or worked in the Abbey Quarter and to share their stories.

What will you do?

• Playing a role as part of a pair or within a small team
• Interacting with visitors to bring your character to life and answering their questions.
• Being able to jump in and out of 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.
• To research relevant documents relating to your role in order to ensure that visitors receive accurate, fact-based information.

Contact person firstname
Contact person's position
RAR Volunteer Co-ordinator
Their phone number?
0118 937 3162
Contact instructions?
Email is preferred. I work part-time - Monday, Wednesday and Thursday

Location description
Across Reading
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?
Availability required
Any of these times
Additional timing details
28 May Reading Museum event
11 May Forbury Fiesta, Reading
15 June Waterfest
23 June East Reading Festival
September Reading Town Meal
Aug/Sept Friends Summer Party
13 - 22 September Heritage Open Days
11 November Take Over Day (school event)

Events run mainly at weekends, but this role will run for short periods (ie two or three hours)
Task type?
Community Representative
Will suit someone like this:
Prefers a specific roleSelf organised/motivatedHappy to work soloKeen learnerSociableCreativeWants to get out and about
Post suitable for supported volunteering?
Not specified
Is training given?
Training description
Full training will be given to help support volunteers in this role.
Is support given?
Description of support
Ongoing support from learning team and you will be in regular contact with other volunteers.
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
13 February 2019