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Volunteering at the National Slate Museum

Chloe Ward, Volunteering Co-ordinator, 4 August 2023

What are the volunteering opportunities at the National Slate Museum? 

Getting people involved in volunteering at the National Slate Museum has been a priority since I began my role as Volunteering Co-ordinator here in May 2022. So what opportunities for taking part are there at the Museum?

Blacksmithing placement 
In December 2022 we excitingly welcomed Dai to the museum on a Student Work Placement. Dai was on a Welding and Fabricating college course, which requires students to partake in 20 days of work experience. He worked with Liam, our Blacksmith, in the historic forge in the Gilfach Ddu workshops and over the 20 days learnt how to make a bottle opener, a fire poker, and a pair of tongs. It was great to see his confidence and skills develop over the months he was here!

Skills Development Placements 
Last year we started Skills Development Placements in Llanberis, something that already exists at Cardiff National Museum. They are one day a week of shadowing the front of house team, providing invaluable experience for people who have barriers to work. We piloted the placement over the Winter 2022, and this year Aaron has just started a placement with us. He says he is looking forward to learning about the history and the opportunity to be part of a team. These placements are available almost all year round – please feel free to get in touch for more information.

Rag rug volunteers 
If crafting is your thing, helping us create rugs might be your motivation to volunteer! We have around 3 volunteers weekly in the Chief Engineer’s House, working on making rag rugs for our historic houses. Since they started in May they have had many interesting conversations with our visitors. Many of our visitors talk about how they used to make rag rugs with their grandparents when they were younger, albeit not everyone knows them as rag rugs! They are known by different names across the United Kingdom – we have learnt about 'proddy rugs', 'peg rugs' and many more!

What can we look forward to?  
We’re currently developing a few interesting roles in Llanberis... we will soon be recruiting for an Ambassador Volunteering Role, and a Machine Conservation Volunteering role! We will also be advertising a Heritage Student Work Placement in September for students looking for general experience in the heritage industry. Keep your eyes peeled!

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