Volunteering at York Museums Trust


Volunteering with York Museums Trust

Our volunteers allow us to create a fantastic visitor experience, taking them in to the past and immersing them in a world of knowledge and amazement.

Our onsite volunteering is currently still suspended due to COVID. Please keep an eye on this page for future opportunities coming in 2022.



We offer a range of opportunities across our three museums from object handling to running an historic flour mill. Last year we had over 300 individual volunteers giving their time and commitment to us to help us continue to give visitors an excellent experience. See what our volunteers are doing by following us on Twitter and Instagram.

Why volunteer with us?

Our volunteer programme consists of over 300 people from every walk of life. There are those who have lived locally for many years and those who are far from home. Volunteering can be a great way to build your skills and confidence, especially if you’re seeking experience of working with people or are interested in museums or education. You can also make new friends and meet like-minded people through a volunteer role.

You don’t have to have specialist knowledge to volunteer; all you need is an enthusiasm for the museums and their collections and a willingness to get stuck in!


Volunteering to promote your health and wellbeing

We have used the five ways to wellbeing to look at what you can gain from volunteering with us.

  • Meeting people – By volunteering you will not only talk to the general public but you will meet other volunteers on your project as well as the wider Trust staff.
  • Get active! – Get out and about and come to one of our museums regularly to enjoy our buildings and outdoor spaces for free!
  • Thought provoking – Why not take the time to think about pieces of art, objects and histories and how they affect you or make you feel?
  • Helping others – By volunteering you will be giving your time and knowledge to help visitors learn about York’s collections and stories and give them a great visitor experience.
  • Learning something new  – You can learn new histories and stories or new skills.

Family Volunteering: Unfortunately, we are unable to accept independent volunteers under the age of 18. If you are under 18, and have a family member over the age of 18, this could be sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, cousin etc, who would be interested in volunteering alongside you, you can apply as part of our family volunteering programme. Please contact us on volunteering@ymt.org.uk for further information.

Volunteering opportunities

Hands on Here! (currently suspended)

Volunteers help visitors to get up close and personal with objects from our collections. You will receive all the relevant training so that you can give information about the histories, people or artists connected to the objects, to our visitors, to give them a great experience. We have this opportunity at York Art Gallery, the Yorkshire Museum and York Castle Museum.

Anthony Shaw Gallery Steward at York Art Gallery

(currently suspended)

Anthony’s collection of ceramic is on display at the gallery where it has been designed to look like a living room in his home. As a volunteer you will welcome people in to the space and be available to answer questions about Anthony and his collection. You will also look after the objects that are on open display to make sure they are safe and secure from accidental damage.

Costumed Kirkgate volunteer at York Castle Museum

(currently suspended)

Why not immerse yourself in Victorian York and give our visitors a great experience, showing them what it was really like to live at this time. You can choose to be a shop assistant or someone in the street, no need to be an actor though, as all our roles are delivered in the third person.

York Observatory in the Museum Gardens

(currently suspended)

Are you interested in astronomy or science? Our observatory opens to the public, letting them see an historic telescope in a purpose built building to view the night sky. Open during the day, volunteers welcome visitors to the observatory and give them information about the history of the building and astronomy in York.

Raindale Mill at the Castle Museum

(currently suspended)

Have you ever fancied running a real water mill? We have a reconstructed early 19th century flour mill in the grounds of the Castle Museum, where you can show people how flour is made and how water is used to power the mechanism. It is a beautiful spot surrounded by wild flowers and grassland nestled next to the old castle walls.

How to Apply

You can still apply for all of our opportunities by clicking the link below but you will not be contacted for suspended opportunities until our sites reopen.

Click here to complete an application form.

Alternatively, you can email volunteering@ymt.org.uk or post to:

Volunteering Team,
York Museums Trust,
York Castle Museum,
The Eye of York,



Click here to download our FAQs information sheet.


Current Volunteers

If you are a current volunteer and would like to sign up for a session please visit our online rota or http://myvolunteerpage.mobi from a phone/tablet.

Please contact the Volunteers Team directly if you have forgotten your login details.