Today is the last in our series of volunteer profiles – today we meet Josh:
I have been volunteering at the Centre since October 2016. I first got involved volunteering at the Centre after the discovery of Richard III and previously watching The White Queen on TV.
I’ve always had an interest in history but learnt very little about Richard at school. After doing my own non-Shakespeare type research, I fell in love with the real, historical Richard III.
Working at the Centre, no two shifts are ever the same. You meet so many different people from all walks of life and from different parts of the world. You get to learn about different cultures at the same time as people are always willing to chat.
I’ve had many great experiences working at the Visitor Centre – two that really stick in my mind are:
1: Getting a visit from someone who worked for the Coventry Talking Newspaper for the Blind. I spent the day walking him around the Centre giving his listeners an audio guide. As someone training as an actor, it was a really good experience to be on a programme like that. To provide a service making sure everyone has a worthwhile visit is something I pride myself on.
2: Whilst chatting to a visitor in the gravesite one day, she randomly asked if I spoke Welsh. Apparently, she asks all people this wherever she goes because she was learning the language and wanted someone to practice with. I had just started to learn Welsh at the time, so I was able to have a nice conversation and make her visit unique for her. (So if you’re Welsh speaking and fancy learning about history and helping out a Welsh learner like myself at the same time – pop on down! Achos dwi wastad yn edrych i gwrdd â phobl newydd ac ymarfer siarad Cymraeg)
Some questions I’ve been asked by visitors:
· Is Henry VIII still under here?
· Did Richard kill the Princes in the Tower?
· Where’s a good place to go for lunch around here?
· Could Richard fight with a broken spine?
I once had a ten-minute conversation with a young girl who seemed quite obsessed with Richard III’s feet – or lack thereof.
I have had a lot of positive feedback due to my storytelling at the gravesite, with visitors commenting on how it helps to “brings the story to life” and “made our visit worthwhile”.
Once again, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Josh and all of our brilliant volunteers – THANK YOU!