All hands on deck for volunteering

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Our HARCVS Connecting Ripon Network of local charities is looking forward to making more connections and growing volunteering in 2020 for the benefit of local communities within Ripon and the surrounding villages.

This month, we’ve a few words from an important person at one of our member charities - the Matron of Ripon Workhouse!

Matron said: “I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, and, ask if any of you lovely people are willing and able to help me out. I have a number of positions available at Ripon Workhouse. I hear that there are positions down at the Prison and Police Museum and over at The Courthouse too. Times are hard and so it really is all hands on deck!

“It is such a privilege to work at The Workhouse. I meet all kinds of people from all over the world who choose to visit our award winning museum.”

“Some of our volunteer opportunities are with my friendly and enthusiastic Learning Team. If you enjoy meeting people of all ages and are interested in becoming involved with the stories and people behind our museums – this is for you!

“There are many different roles to choose from – becoming a strict Victorian schoolmaster or mistress, being a Workhouse Guardian, leading a “trial” at the “Courthouse, teaching rag-rugging or baking with families as part of our school holiday activities. You can take on as much, or as little as you like and always at your own pace, supported by our more experienced volunteers and staff team.

“I am also seeking friendly and approachable people to join my Front of House team. This team welcomes people from far and wide and plays a vital role in keeping the museums open.

“Whether you want to develop new skills and gain valuable work experience or are interested in keeping active and involved in your local community the front of house role is perfect for you.

“Tasks with this team include the opening and closing of the museum, selling admission tickets and making shop sales, giving information to visitors and helping them to enjoy their visit then cashing up the daily takings at the end of the session.

“You don’t have to have specialist knowledge to volunteer; all you will need is an enthusiasm for the museums and their collections and a willingness to get stuck in! It really is a lot of fun (although I would never admit that in front of the inmates!).”

If would like to meet Matron and some of the people who help her out there’s an opportunity at volunteer open events at the Workhouse on 9 January 10.30am–12.30 pm and 11 January 1.30–3.30pm.

You will get a tour of the Vagrants Block, get a chance to ask questions about Ripon Museums and find out how to join their volunteering family.

There are many other opportunities for people of all ages and interests to get involved with local charities. Jennyruth Workshops, a vibrant and positive work place for adults with learning disabilities, are also holding open days in January for anyone interested in volunteering. They’d love to see you on 9 January 1-4 or 13 January 9-12. Find out more at or give them a call on 01765 606 620.

If you’ve made New Year Resolutions and want to keep motivated getting active, meeting people or learning new skills there is no better way than to volunteer with other like-minded people. Take a look at our searchable HARCVS Volunteer Directory