Volunteering at the Bournemouth Natural Science Society
Our volunteers are highly valued and essential to the survival and everyday running of the Society. We would like to hear from anyone with a keen interest, skills or enthusiasm to help us to continue and build upon the Society’s fantastic achievements to date.
We have a growing team of dedicated volunteers willing to share their knowledge and train anyone interested in helping with the running of the Society and maintaining its collections.
Volunteering at the BNSS is very rewarding. We value our community of members and visitors who are crucial to the future survival of the Society. As well as the day to day running of the Society, engaging with our visitors is an important part of what we do. We appreciate any time that you can offer.
Our key volunteer opportunities offer training where necessary. Some volunteer roles are of a specialist nature, requiring specific skills, with an eye for detail and a high level of organisation and accuracy. We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who has specialist skills or previous experience in the areas detailed below.
For anyone wishing to pursue a career, volunteer work plays an essential part in gaining valuable work experience that can help you stand out above other job applicants and looks great on your CV. For the right individuals, we can provide you with a reference for a potential future employee. We welcome enquiries from students relating to educational projects or volunteering.
If you would like any further information about volunteering at the BNSS, please contact us.
NB In the list below, [M] refers to the need to be a member for this role
1. Key volunteering roles:
Stewards: Meet and greet our visitors during museum open hours and events days. We offer training that allows you to learn about our collections, the Museum building and the history of the Society. Share your knowledge with our visitors and encourage new members to join us.
Gardeners: We have a small, yet highly knowledgeable and dedicated team of gardeners who help to keep our large garden looking fantastic all year round. One of our main aims is to encourage wildlife in this urban environment.
Housekeeping: Help us to keep the items in our collections dust free and ensure the wood and glass of cabinets and display cases are kept sparkling!
Catering: One of the most essential volunteer roles within the society; providing our members and guests with refreshments after lectures and during events!
Office support – Printing and photocopying leaflets and posters, filing, checking stocks of paper, printer inks, stationery, pens, pencils etc. Keeping notice boards up-to-date.
2. Specialist volunteer opportunities:
Trustees: Any persons wishing to become a Trustee of the Society must be a member of the Society for one year before applying for election by its members at the Annual General Meeting. Trustees are required to follow Charity Commission guidelines and oversee all of the Society’s affairs. Trustees my require to be DBS checked. Being a trustee is a position of great responsibility and can be highly rewarding and enjoyable. It is an opportunity to make a positive difference to the Society and our community, while also learning new skills. You must make a strong personal commitment to the Society’s aims and have a passion to make the Society succeed. You will make decisions that are critical to the future direction of the Society. For more information on the role of a Trustee, contact any trustee [M]
Fund Raiser: We need someone to identify possible funding sources, devise a calendar of award submission dates and contribute to writing grants to fund the Society’s activities and projects.
Projectionists: We require a projectionist to be responsible for the care and maintenance of our lecture equipment together with existing volunteers. If you have knowledge or experience in audio and visual technology, we would like to hear from you. We also require new faces to assist with setting up of equipment before lectures. Training can be given.
Windows computer specialist: The Office computer needs to be maintained by running virus and malware checkers and the desktop to be cleared regularly. The printer needs to be maintained and ink levels monitored and inks ordered if necessary. A computer needs to be set up to run the library catalogue.
Displays: Are you interested in creating new displays for our cabinets utilising items from the Society’s collections? Up-to-date, well researched and written information provides fresh material for both members and visitors to engage in.
Cataloguing collections: We are seeking individuals who are highly organised, with an eye for detail and the ability to determine the identity of items and species within our collections. If you have experience with museum databases or cataloguing, particularly regarding natural history, geology or photographic slides, we would very much like to hear from you.
Woodworking & joinery: We require a highly skilled woodworker/joiner to help together with existing volunteers to construct and restore display cabinets throughout the building. If you have a background in this field and can offer your time to help us develop the Museum infrastructure, we would love to hear from you.
Conservation & restoration of collections: This is a highly specialist role requiring a number of specific skills. If you have previous experience in the maintenance and restoration of museum collections, particularly Natural History specimens, please get in touch! [M]
Room Booker: Maintain booking diary, meet & greet where appropriate, cover when caretaker not available. Probably would needs to be a key holder. [M]
‘Stand in’ Chair: Someone who can meet the speaker, chair the talk and organise questions in the enforced absence of the advertised chair. Familiarity with projection equipment and sound system would be advantageous but training can be given.
Volunteer Coordinator: This requires recruiting and training volunteers, maintaining volunteer lists and contact details, organising volunteers for events and Open Days, keeping volunteers informed. [M]
Integrated Pest Management Operator: The BNSS building and its collections are under attack! Bi-monthly insect pest monitoring and recording is required. Find out more about the fascinating world of pests and how to control them! Previous knowledge of pest control would be an advantage, but full training can be given to the right person(s).
3. Opportunities which can be conducted remotely from BNSS:
Accreditation co-ordinator The museum will be inspected in 2020 and in order to maintain our accreditation we will need to ensure that previous commitments are fulfilled. Preparing documents, making application, pursuing uncompleted actions. [M]
Dropbox specialist: The Society’s extensive Dropbox archive needs reorganisation, updating and protocols established. It needs to be synched with the Office computer hard drive’
Website Event Editor: Four times a year events need to uploaded to the website for the next quarter and cross-checked with the published programme. Skills required are those similar for using a word processing program but an eye for detail is necessary. Training can be given.
News Editor(s) for the Website and Social Media: Short news items need to be posted to maintain interest and relevance and improve search engine optimisation (SEO). Skills required similar to word processing. However, there is an opportunity to seek out potential news items from officers and members in conjunction with the Publicity Officer.