Collections Volunteer: Exhibition Steward

Shifts available immediately, 10:00 – 13:00 and 13:30 – 16:30, Monday – Sunday.
Through September, October, December 2022 and February 2023.

Are you looking to gain experience in a museum or gallery, or a quiet place to read or study?

Chawton House is recruiting for a new voluntary role to help us display loans from the National Archives in our latest exhibition: Trailblazers: women travel writers and the exchange of knowledge.

The volunteer would steward in the exhibition rooms during opening hours, keeping an eye on loans in the display cases and framed on the wall.

It would be ideally suited to someone who is looking for a quiet place to study or read. The steward has a desk with a plug point, or can opt for an armchair.

There would also be scope to attend training sessions with the Curator & Collections Manager outside of these shifts, to learn more about working with collections in museums and gain some experience in object handling. If the volunteer wishes to combine their stewarding with helping work on updating collections documentation as part of a wider volunteering role, this can also be discussed.

The steward is welcome to answer visitor questions if they would like to learn about the exhibition, or are equally free to sit quietly and steward the room whilst undertaking a task such as reading, crafting, or working, whilst they keep the loans in view.

The role:

The position is split into two shifts: 10:00-13:00 and 13:30 – 16:30 with a small degree of flexibility.

Provision would be made to cover toilet breaks and the volunteer would be able to contact the front of house if they needed relieving for a specific reason. If you carry out both shifts you are entitled to a 1 hour lunch break.

All volunteers to Chawton House receive tea and coffee for a half day’s volunteering, or lunch for a full day’s volunteering. They are provided with a Volunteer’s Handbook, given training in our procedures and asked to sign a Collections Volunteering Agreement.

Apply here:

To apply please send your CV and details of a character reference to Emma Yandle on and copy in Applicants are asked to outline in their email their availability with as much specificity as possible. Please also send us a few lines on why you are interested in the position, and any specific hopes for the role.

Applicants that seem well-suited to the position will be invited to an informal meeting at Chawton House. The role can be taken up immediately.

Volunteering at Chawton House is a rewarding and unique experience. “It is a very special place” to quote many of the volunteers and visitors alike.

Volunteer at Chawton House Library

Volunteer at Chawton House Library

We are always looking for people who are interested in volunteering at the ‘Great House’ as it was referred to by Jane Austen. There are several different volunteering opportunities: as Room or Tour Guides, Library Assistants, Garden Assistants or helping to serve refreshments on Event Days.

Skills and Experience

Personal skills for all volunteering roles:

  • A friendly personality
  • Punctuality
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Flexibility
  • Calmness under pressure

Training is given so that all volunteers are aware of Health and Safety issues, particularly in respect of Chawton House.


To find out more, please contact the Volunteer Manager, Ian Beveridge either by email, or by telephone 01420 541010

We look forward to hearing from you.