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Abbot Hall Art Gallery: Tour Guide


Our Volunteer Guides give tours of the art gallery, interpreting the artworks on display.

What's involved?

What’s involved?

  • Our Tour Guides give guided tours of Abbot Hall, interpreting some of the most interesting artworks on display.
  • The tours generally last about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • The number of visitors on each tour can vary hugely – a group of between 10 and 15 visitors might be most typical.
  • We encourage our guides to bring the art to life in an interesting and enthusiastic way.

Will I be trained?

  • When you first join the volunteering team, you’ll receive training from a member of the gallery team, including security arrangements and fire evacuation.
  • Our Curators will offer specific training about the artworks currently on display, and will suggest ways to communicate this in an interesting way to our visitors.

What can I expect?

  • We currently offer guided tours every Saturday afternoon, and selected days during the week.
  • We plan our rota between 1 and 2 months in advance.
  • We ask that you treat your slots on the volunteer rota as a firm commitment. We appreciate that there may be times when you’re unable to attend at the last minute – please let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange alternative cover.
  • Some volunteers are able to cover occasional days, whilst others are able to make a regular commitment (e.g. 1 slot per week). We hope that volunteers can give some time every month; however we try to take a flexible approach that suits each individuals needs.

What skills are needed?

  • Most of all we’re looking for genuine enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for art with our visitors.
  • Strong verbal communication skills and a clear voice.
  • A friendly and welcoming approach to ensure our visitors get the most from their visit.
  • Our Tour Guides generally have a good level of background art knowledge; however our curators will provide all the specific information you need.
  • We’ll provide notes, but not a formal ‘script’. We’re keen that our guides play to their individual strengths and convey their enthusiasm in a way that they feel is most appropriate.
  • As the ‘face’ of Abbot Hall Art Gallery you’ll need to look presentable and be friendly and approachable.
  • You’ll need to be sufficiently mobile to move around the building and be able to assist with the evacuation of the building in the event of a fire.

Why get involved?

What are the benefits?

  • Our Tour Guides have a lot of direct contact with our visitors. There’s a lot satisfaction from helping our visitors understand more about the art on display.
  • Volunteering is a great way of meeting fellow volunteers and visitors.
  • Our ‘active volunteers card’ gives you and your immediate family free admission to Abbot Hall, Blackwell and Windermere Jetty.
  • Your ‘active volunteer card’ also entitles you to a 50% discount in our cafes, and a 10% discount in our shops throughout the year.
  • Free car parking at Abbot Hall on days when you’re volunteering.

How to get involved?

Sign up via our online platform, here:

Ideal Skills

  • Customer Service
  • Event Stewarding
  • Reading/Storytelling

Ideal Interests

  • Events and Programming
  • Learning and Education
  • Visitor Service/ Front of House
  • Curatorial/Working with Museum Collection

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