To celebrate Student Volunteering Week (8th – 14th February) we asked some of our student volunteers to write about their experiences volunteering at the Visitor Centre.
“I started volunteering at the Richard III Centre because I’ve always been interested in history and having such an incredible discovery so close to home was too good an opportunity to miss! I study history at college and being able to supplement that learning with knowledge from the centre as well as from interested visitors has been really exciting.
“Being a volunteer at the centre is a really enjoyable experience: everyone who visits has a genuine interest in the story of the King, and hearing different perspectives never gets boring. One of the most fascinating parts of volunteering is spreading knowledge about how the bones were discovered. The hard work of the team at the University and dedication of Philippa Langley is so compelling, especially as it concerns one of the most debated and infamous figures in British history.
“Lots of visitors want to know my personal perspective on Richard’s character, and I think that’s what makes volunteering so great: despite all of the discoveries made and the immense significance of the dig, we still don’t have all the answers. The discovery of the remains of Richard III continues to be an intriguing story, and being a volunteer has allowed me to interact with so many people who are also passionate about the history of the King.”
“My name is Arlene and I have been ‘mature’ student volunteer at the King Richard III visitor centre for approximately 18 months.
“Being born and bred in Leicester, I grew up with a love of history, school trips to Bradgate Park and the story of Lady Jane Grey, Daniel Lambert’s huge stockings at the Newarke Houses museum and the Egyptian mummies at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery all sparked my interest.
“I finally decided to start a part time Open University degree in History at the age of 42 and with a four-year-old. I took a break in-between and I am now in my fourth year of six and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
“When the news broke of the plans to excavate the area of Greyfriars, it was so exciting, and I followed the story avidly and I even pretended to be in a meeting in my office at work whilst watching the press conference live on my computer when Turi King confirmed it was King Richard! I was also in the crowd on the High Street on the day of his reinterment and visited the centre as soon as it opened.
“Fast forward to the summer of 2019, I was looking for a new job and had some free time. I thought, what would I love to do to support my study and love of history – I sent off my application form to become a volunteer. When I was accepted to join the team, I was thrilled, it felt, and still feels like an incredible honour to be in the heart of what was a global story. I enjoy talking to people and to be able to share my excitement and enthusiasm with so many different people, of all ages and nationalities and all with a shared interest in the story of the King in the car park. I try to volunteer once or twice a month, depending on my University commitments.
“My favourite part of the volunteer role is watching the children listening and looking and asking questions and their fascination with the grave and the glass floor – I love telling them that a herd of elephants could stand on the glass before it would break, and I hope it sparks a love of history for them too.
“I remember on my last volunteer shift at the Centre, which happened to be Halloween, I sat by the grave with no one else around for a while and feeling such a privilege to be in such a historical spot all by myself.”
Do you have a few hours to spare? Would you like to meet new people, learn new skills and help us share the story of King Richard III?
If the answer to those questions is “Yes” then we’d love to hear from you. We are looking to add to our band of happy volunteers and welcome applications from anyone who is interested in working as part of our team.
There is a range of volunteering opportunities available at the Visitor Centre, including:
– helping to tell the story of King Richard III
– supporting school visits
– delivering our programme of events (sometimes in costume!) at weekends and during school holidays
– helping in our shop and cafe and generally ensuring our visitors get a great experience throughout their visit
If you are interested in being a volunteer at the Visitor Centre, please read our Volunteer Role description and complete one of our application forms, available via the links below. Please return your form via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to:
King Richard III Visitor Centre
4a St Martins
Volunteer Application Form – Word version for completing on PC
Volunteer Application Form – Pdf version for completing by hand
If you have any questions about volunteering with us, please contact us by email: email@example.com