Volunteer Manager

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Job Ref.: 
Job Location: 
London SE1
Recruiting For: 
a volunteer
Salary and Benefits: 

Type:                          Voluntary, Part Time – to be kept regularly under review

Hours/location:        Approximately four days a month at the museum (for museum open days, mostly at weekends) plus occasional group visits

Number of vacancies: 
Job starts now: 
I would like to receive applications from residents in: 
Lambeth and Southwark
Job Description: 

The opportunity

Working closely with the small trustee board and other volunteers of this special museum in the heart of London’s Bankside, you will be responsible for managing, coordinating and developing the volunteer team to support the museum’s activities and help us implement our new Forward Plan.


The role

This is a new and key role for a museum that runs solely on volunteer power. We are entering an exciting period of change, aiming to open our doors to new audiences and deliver the museum’s mission through a new Forward Plan. We are looking for a friendly, diplomatic, organised and proactive Volunteer Manager to ensure our visitors have a consistently high-quality and engaging experience, that our volunteers get the most from being part of Kirkaldy’s, using their skills, experience and enthusiasm for the benefit of the museum, and that we can grow our volunteer team for the future and open our doors more often.

You will have proven experience of managing volunteers, be happy being hands-on with health and safety and operational issues and also be able to contribute to wider planning for attracting and training more volunteers, including corporate volunteers. And occasionally you may need to muck in alongside board members with washing up or cleaning toilets!


Kirkaldy’s Testing Museum

Just a block from Tate Modern, this remarkable survivor of Victorian London has an important and inspiring story to tell. The museum preserves and presents Scottish engineer David Kirkaldy’s 19th Century Testing & Experimenting Works, where for three generations his Universal Testing Machine tested samples of construction materials sent here from around the world. Now restored, the 47-foot ‘big machine’ is at the heart of a museum that celebrates Kirkaldy’s achievement, his part in the story of testing, and challenges us all to live up to his motto ‘facts not opinions’. We want to bring this experience to more people, with more frequent open days as well as private events and group visits, and for this we need to build and manage our volunteer team.

With the help of an AIM grant, the board commissioned a consultant to work with the museum team on a Forward Plan, identifying how we can achieve our vision of widening audiences, raising awareness of the museum and the Kirkaldys, and, not least, raising funds to continue our work in future. The creation of a dedicated role of Volunteer Manager is essential to that plan’s success. The museum will also be Working Towards Accreditation, and the board is working with London Museum Development to achieve this. You will be encouraged to take part, as we do, in LMD and other relevant training.


Key Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers with support from the Trustee Director Board
  • Act as duty manager on open days and events, agreeing roles for the day and break times, troubleshooting issues that arise on the day, ensuring standards are consistently met on each open day and event at the museum
  • Manage volunteer staffing rotas, keep museum calendar updated and communicate with volunteers to ensure sufficient cover for regular and one off events and hires
  • Be the point of contact for all volunteers
  • Continue to develop our risk assessments and method statements
  • Ensure the museum has a clear and comprehensive induction programme and develop training materials including videos with other members of the team
  • Manage a regular schedule of maintenance tasks for the monthly working day as developed in conjunction with the Board
  • Ensure the contribution made by volunteers is valued and recognised
  • Respond to enquiries from potential volunteers and interns
  • Establish links with volunteer agencies and community groups in order to open volunteering opportunities to a wide range of people
  • Interview potential volunteers with another member of the museum team
  • Attend board meetings – liaising with the board on strategic planning as well as updating the board on operational questions
  • Work with the board to develop an offer for Corporate Volunteering
  • Review existing polices associated with volunteer management
  • On occasion, assist with events where volunteers are scheduled to help

The Volunteer Manager is a voluntary role. However, if in future funding becomes available to fund a post of Museum Manager, the role of Volunteer Manager will be reviewed. 


Skills and qualities

  • Experience in managing volunteer teams in the museum or heritage sector
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent practical and problem-solving skills
  • Administration and IT proficient
  • Friendly, approachable and supportive
  • Ability to work flexibly
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and HR in relation to volunteering
  • Experience in events management desirable
  • Engineering knowledge and interest desirable.


Application Requirements 

Please send your CV and a covering letter (up to 500 words) telling us:

1. What attracts you to this role, and why you believe you have the relevant experience

2. What challenges (if any) you anticipate with both growing and developing our volunteer team.

Please note, we will only accept applications that include both a CV and a covering letter. 


The closing date for applications is midnight on 27th February 2019


We expect to hold interviews for this position on Wednesday 13 March, 2019 and you will need to be available on this day. 

To apply for this job please email us a cover letter and your most up-to-date CV.

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