Things to consider when making decisions about involving people.

  • How can participants connect to your programming and audience development?
  • Have you consulted with your target groups to understand how they will get to your venues and their availability to volunteer?
  • What organisations can support your recruitment?
  • What works well elsewhere?
  • What extra support will need to be put in place for someone to succeed, if necessary?
  • How many participants can take part?

Our approach

Who we recruit?
If: Volunteering for wellbeing is an intergenerational programme with distinct target groups:  young people (16 – 24 years), ex-service personnel and older people (aged 50+). All of these groups were identified by each museum as being under-represented in the museum workforce.

The importance of intergenerational learning was a consistent message within our consultation process. Young adults and older people, voiced strong opinions about mixed age groups, stating that intergenerational learning adds value and creates opportunities for sharing experiences, knowledge and perspectives.

Consultation with visitors also identified that ex-service personnel at IWM North especially are able to bring a very personal interpretation to the collections, visitors identified the importance of talking to someone who was really there and could speak from experience.

How we recruit
We identify local referral agencies and contact advisors who can communicate directly with our target groups. We may visit them in person, have phone conversations or attend relevant communication meetings at their place of work. Face-to-face contact with referrer’s works really well as it allows questions to be answered and creates confidence between organisations.

We also invite people to visit the museums to meet with a member of the team to develop their understanding not just of the programme but of the Museums themselves. They also meet the volunteers and hear about the benefits of the programme.

Download recruit leaflet for support workers.

Examples of organisations we work with are:

  • Jobcentre Plus
    Jobcentre Plus supports people of working age from welfare into work and helps employers to fill their vacancies.
  • Connexions
    A careers information, advice, guidance and personal support service for young people aged 13–19
  • Poppy Factory
    The Poppy Factory has been piloting an employment services model and has successfully placed more than 100 veterans of all ages in jobs beyond the Factory, all around the UK.

Use referral case study / quote here

Why we recruit in this way
For many people who join, this is the first time that they had undertaken any type of volunteering.  Most volunteers are not self-selecting; they do not approach the Museums about volunteering on the off-chance that there might be a role available.  Equally we find that people don’t respond in great numbers to a poster or leaflet about the opportunity. We have found that word-of-mouth via referral agencies and other groups is the most successful method of recruiting our target audience.

Participants may need extra support so it is important to make clear within the team what can be achieved in order for the participant to succeed. When planning, the number of people to engage should be clearly explained taking into account resources available within the organisation. This may include space availability, access requirements and thinking about to make spaces comfortable and stimulating.

Recruitment flow chart