Volunteering at Fydell House
First and foremost Boston Preservative Trust exists to preserve and conserve Fydell House and its garden, make it available to the people of Boston, and hand it on intact to future generations.
There are several ways you can help with our work:
Volunteer to help with the House
After several decades as an educational establishment Fydell House is entering a new phase as a key visitor attraction in Boston. This is an exciting time to get involved as the building is restored to its former grandeur and the interiors refurbished and made available to visitors. There is lots to do, and if you can spare time to help you will be very welcome! You could be helping to welcome people to the house and guide them through the rooms, keep things tidy and well-presented, join in larger conservation projects, help research the history of the house, assist with our events programme, help with promoting the house, and much else. All necessary training will be given. To volunteer for the house contact Reception at Fydell House.
Volunteer to help with the Garden
Fydell House is famous for its beautiful historic garden which is cared for by a long-established group of volunteers. There is always work to do, so if you enjoy gardening you are welcome to join our garden group. To volunteer for the garden contact Alison Fairman c/o Fydell House.
How volunteering can help YOU
There are many reasons people might volunteer to help the Trust – to help preserve Fydell House, to meet new people, or to actively campaign on conservation issues.
For volunteers willing to make a formal commitment of time each week we can offer satisfying work experience.
This is not a formal training course, and we cannot offer any remuneration, but for those returning to work after a long period, those who do not have any past work experience, or those looking to enter the career of heritage management this can give you evidence of your professionalism and commitment in a heritage work environment.
Please note that all our volunteers have to be flexible and work wherever required on a day to day basis, but if you want to build into your time at Fydell House specific work experience we will make every effort to support you.
You can ask for your Volunteering to incorporate one or more of the following areas:
• Receive visitors in a professional manner and make them feel welcome.
• Importance of signing-in, issuing badges where necessary, signing-out.
• Answering general visitor enquiries.
• Keeping literature displays filled.
• Keeping front hall tidy at all times.
• Sales of publications.
• Regularly check that visitors and outside organisations are happy with their experience at Fydell House.
General office duties
• Answering phone calls in a professional manner.
• Room bookings and associated paperwork.
• Operating office equipment.
• Clerical tasks as required.
• Attend meetings and take minutes as required.
• Keep all groups within the Trust informed of developments are they arise.
• Learn how to guide groups of visitors around the house and answer questions.
• Setup (and troubleshoot!) the projector for powerpoint presentations.
• Learn exhibition skills – how to put on an exhibition.
• Take groups around the town centre and talk about specific historic buildings.
• Give short 20-minute talks during open days throughout the year.
• Be aware of who is in the house at any one time.
• Challenge (politely) people without visitor badges.
• Be able to carry out a security check of the house upon opening.
• Be able to carry out a security check of the house prior to closing.
• Know how to raise alarms and cope with emergencies.
• Help with regular inventory checks of the house contents.
Health & Safety awareness
• Be aware of Health & Safety policies for Fydell House and operate them as required.
Event management and hospitality
• Room set-up and break-down.
• Shadow our Weddings Management team and help where required.
• Be aware of costings, and help ensure unnecessary costs do not arise.
• Learn how to operate a PR matrix.
• Learn how to write press releases and place them with the media.
• Top up literature displays throughout the town.
• Social media including Twitter and Facebook updates.
• Help write and design literature.
• Be aware of branding and style guidelines.
• Carry out customer care surveys and questionnaires.
• Historical research using internet or libraries.
• Cataloguing archive material.
• Digitalising archive material.
• Architectural surveys throughout the town.
• Public opinion surveys on heritage issues.
Teamwork and personal skills
• Importance of good time-keeping.
• Hand over to next shift in a professional manner.
• Coping with team tensions and disconnects.
• Calm assertiveness with difficult visitors.