Volunteering Opportunities at the National Stone Centre
The National Stone Centre is a charitable organisation founded to tell the story of stone by promoting the study of geology and educating the public about the quarrying industry. We rely on our team of volunteer helpers and trustees to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors, who include universities, schools, local interest groups and tourists. Volunteers may be asked to assist with different aspects of the management of the site or the Visitors Centre based on abilities and interests. The National Stone Centre has recently joined with the Institute of Quarrying and an ambitious plan to rebuild and improve our facilities and museum is underway.
Volunteering activities currently include:
The Rock Shop
Supervising the shop and processing sales of minerals, fossils, maps, publications, gift items and gem panning activities. Use of till and card reader. Cashing up at the end of the day and locking up the shop. Responding to phone enquiries.
The NSC site
Ground maintenance work including keeping the site tidy by litter picking, emptying bins, clearing plant growth from paths and the play area, clearing areas of scrub where necessary and reporting any problems that may adversely affect visitors enjoying the public right of way through the site. The area around the Geotrail is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its unique geology. Volunteers are also encouraged to interract with the public and provide information about activities taking place at the Visitors Centre and point out areas of interest around the site.
Assisting with school visits
Key Stage 1&2
Primary schools prebook visits to The National Stone Centre to complement topics from the national curriculum they are studying in class. The children, accompanied by their teachers or supervisors, participate in our popular “Treasure in the Rocks” day where the class is divided into sub-groups that rotate between different activities such as gem panning, the Geotrail, and the study of rocks, minerals, fossils and soils. A team of volunteer educators oversee the smooth running of this event which mostly takes place outdoors.
Key Stage 3&4
Older groups of students can participate in a guided tour of the Geotrail. This is run by our geological volunteers. It is hoped to use the resources of our extensive site which includes six disused quarries to run ecological study activities in the future.
As a volunteer you would ideally commit to at least a day every week over a pre-arranged period, with the ability to be flexible if extra work is needed. You will be representing the National Stone Centre and are therefore expected to be polite and professional when dealing with the public.
Training and benefits
An initial induction will take place where you will be shown around our facilities and introduced to staff and other key volunteers. Health and safety issues will be discussed and you will be given information about what to do in the event of an emergency.
Specific training will be given relating to the shop, ground maintenance and other activities as required. Equipment and gloves are provided for maintenance work.
Volunteers are entitled to claim mileage at 35p per mile to travel to the National Stone Centre and there is free parking. Volunteers can have free drinks and a 50% discount on food from our Blue Lagoon Café. There is also an annual event to thank volunteers which is held in our Café.
The following skills are helpful but not essential:
Good interpersonal skills when dealing with the public.
Knowledge of retail.
Experience working in education.
An interest in industrial heritage, geology or ecology.
You need to be at least 18 years old to volunteer at the National Stone Centre. A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required for outdoor maintenance work. You will be required to sign a volunteer agreement with The National Stone Centre and we will arrange for you to be DBS checked and to carry out safeguarding training.
If you would like to discuss volunteering opportunities please call The National Stone Centre on 01629 824833.