Today we’re joined by Information Point Volunteer Stuart Goakes.
Our Information Points are run by volunteers every day the museum is open. The team includes volunteers from lots of different backgrounds who work together to help our visitors with enquiries and help on their visit—they can help with anything from a simple query about where the café is to complex enquiries about our collection and its history.
Our Duty Managers say: “Our Information Point volunteers have to be ready for anything and think on their feet. Stuart brings a friendly manner and his background as an engineer means he’s a great advocate for our museum, helping our visitors discover the engineering history in our collections.”
We had a chat with Stuart to find out more about his experience of volunteering here…
What is your volunteer role?
I’m an Information Point Volunteer—mostly in Station Hall.
How long have you volunteered at the museum?
This is my sixth year volunteering.
And how long do you see yourself continuing to volunteer at the museum?
As long as I am capable of doing so.
Describe your typical day volunteering
I meet people from all over the world. Listen to where they are from, ask them ‘what do you think of the museum?’ The usual answer is ‘fantastic’, ‘wonderful experience’ etc. I also answer questions ranging from ‘where is the toilet?’ to ‘where is Flying Scotsman?’.
Why do you volunteer at the museum?
As an engineer it is great working among such examples of railway memorabilia from engines to paintings!
What is the best thing about volunteering?
To meet with people from home and abroad and hopefully with a sense of humour and knowledge to enhance their visit to the museum.
What difference do you think you make to the museum in your role?
Hopefully when visitors I have met and spoken to leave the museum they remember with a smile the ‘old boy’ on the information desk!
What do you get out of volunteering?
An enjoyable and rewarding day.