NEW VOLUNTEER: Sarah-Jane Wells

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

Our most recent volunteer recruit, Sarah-Jane Wells, enables the volunteer programme to reach a significant landmark. For the first time we can boast that we've reached 30 volunteers supporting our activities simultaneously. Here she writes about her aspirations as an NCMME volunteer.

I am now in the 3rd year of my degree. BA (Hons) Textile Practice (Craft & Art) at University of Huddersfield. It is a placement year and I wanted to gain experience working in the Museum and Heritage Sector.

I had seen an advert through my Student Union for volunteers. I knew from visiting with my daughters that the National Coal Mining Museum for England was a great day out!

Here is where the magic begins……..

After an enthusiastic reply to my volunteer application, I visited NCMME during National Volunteer’s Week and met up with some of the volunteer team. What a friendly, well informed and happy group of people, this also goes for NCMME staff.

My next visit was with a small group of other trainee volunteers for Health & Safety, and a tour of the museum buildings and grounds guided by the Volunteer co-ordinator who updated us with the Museum’s exciting plans!

Realising there are so many ways to engage with visitors, and inviting volunteers to share their skills, plans are already rolling out to make the NCMME experience even more amazing! The new Hope Pit Explore volunteer led project, research opportunities, heritage crafters, artists, writers and poets, interactive activities, living history characters, Pit Peddlers, and a diverse calendar of special events.

For me especially it is an artist’s primary research wonderland!

It is an opportunity to use this unique museum and colliery to inform and inspire my work. Textile art, weaving, installations, sculpture, photography, and maybe one day a community embroidered tapestry!

There is so much going on which I would love to be involved in; helping with themed activities for children, supporting Arts Award learning, assisting the Education Team, and working on new exhibitions, collections and curating. The possibilities are endless which is why NCMME is definitely the place I want to be!

My contribution to NCMME will be to share my creative ideas and artistic skills to show how heritage, history, craft and art can be brought together in innovative ways; to add another layer to the experience where visitors can chat and find out about my work, concept and making process.

Come find me around the site and say hello!

I could be dying yarn and fabric to embroider a textile piece. Weaving into found metal from around the colliery in the workshop building, paper-cutting in the Mining Lives Gallery, or be outside weaving on a nature loom.

Are you an artist or crafter?

  • Would you like to demonstrate your skills to the visiting public?
  • Would you like the opportunity to raise your profile as an artist?
  • Would you like to encourage new members to your craft group or promote workshops or event?

Please contact the Volunteer Co-ordinator, if you think that volunteering at a National Museum could enhance your aspirations.

Posted in Volunteering


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