Here we continue our series meeting some of our volunteers here at the Geffrye museum. At the moment we are over 100 people in the volunteer community, helping the museum in lots of different ways. Three volunteers are Janet, Patrick and Sophie who all support different areas. One thing they have in common is their love for the museum and that volunteering is a good way for them to give something back. Sophie volunteers on the quiz desk and garden cart and has been with the Geffrye Museum since she was twelve years old, which means she has been volunteering for almost ten years!
Sophie started volunteering at a young age as a way of giving back since she really liked the museum: “I like museums in general I think. My family, and in particularly my dad, loves history so he’s sort of brought me up with that sort of mind-set I think. I chose this museum because I’m interested in social history and this has social history at its heart.” She finds it relaxing to do something that you want to do, not because you have to do it: “The giving back aspects- that’s a major part of why I like volunteering but also everything is so hectic nowadays so it’s kind of nice to ‘just’ volunteer.”
When she was 12 years old she started helping out in the arts and crafts workshops, in 2008 she did the young tour guide programme and she then moved on to the quiz desk and has been there ever since. The quiz desk is all about helping children explore aspects of the museum in a fun and creative way when visiting the museum. There are colouring, making masks and quizzes and trails around the museums. On the garden cart children can design their own gardens and learn about animals and plants.
Sophie talks about what she’s learnt since volunteering at the Geffrye: “To be honest when I started I was too young to even think about it being a useful experience but when I started to write all my applications for university – my time of volunteering was useful. Volunteering definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone socially, interacting with the public I think thought me how to be tactful and polite.” Another social aspect of volunteering as part of Geffrye Explorers is that they normally volunteer in pairs which makes it easy to be able to have a chat with other volunteers. Sophie enjoys the quiz desk because of her interest in arts and crafts and because it’s nice helping kids having fun at the museum: “Seeing the kids enjoying themselves is definitely a good part of volunteering. If I could encourage their interest in history I’m very happy.”
Would you like to share anything about your experience from volunteering at Geffrye museum? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
/Maja, Volunteer programme Digital Communications Assistant