I love the atmosphere of Gainsborough’s House, the art, the history, meeting visitors, giving talks, learning new things, working with staff and other volunteers and the fact our work is so much appreciated.

— Sue Whiteley, volunteer with Gainsborough’s House since 2006

As a registered charity, Gainsborough’s House relies on the contribution of its amazing volunteers who help with a variety of roles across the whole site, including gallery stewarding, guided tours, learning workshops, administration, retail and events. Full training is provided and volunteer meetings are held regularly, so volunteers can get to know each other and staff, as well as learn about the latest developments at the museum.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with us, please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Catherine: catherine@gainsborough.org

Alternatively, please fill out our Volunteer form and we’ll be in touch, as soon as possible!

Sign–up now!

Register your interest to volunteer with Gainsborough’s House. Get in contact with our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Catherine if you’d like more information, to have an informal meeting or to learn more about the opportunities available to you.

Warm Welcome Coffee Club dates

Grow with us in a one of a kind location

It always feels good to do good but there really is so much more to volunteering than that! The most meaningful & impactful gift you can give is your time.

  • Increase your confidence
  • Enhance your career options
  • Meet new people & make friends

What you could bring:

  • New ideas and energy
  • Gainsborough facts & trivia
  • Administration skills
  • Leadership
  • Art & history knowledge
  • Archiving know–how
  • A green–thumb

What we'll give back:

  • Unlimited access to our museum & galleries
  • An inclusive and safe environment
  • Offer meaningful training and experiences
  • A worthwhile and rewarding role
  • The chance to feel valued & part of a team
  • Support for you to carry out your role
  • Free resources to better your skillset
When I first visited Gainsborough’s House, I was really struck by the warm welcome I received from the band of volunteers, and by their knowledge and commitment to the museum. Please know that as you join the community here, we hugely appreciate the generous commitment of your time and support. I look forward to meeting you in the near future and very much hope that you enjoy your time at Gainsborough’s House, where you are absolutely integral to our day-to-day operation and future success.

— Simon Ofield-Kerr, Chair of Trustees of Gainsborough’s House

Current opportunities

There’s ample opportunity to get involved with Gainsborough’s House. Appropriate training will always be given to new as well as existing volunteers to support their role. We’re looking for enthusiastic people to join us, could it be you?

To print a Role Profile, please download a PDF from the buttons below and print double sided (on short edge) and then fold A4 paper in half.

Camera Obscura Assistant

The Camera Obscura is a bookable, timed activity and requires a confident guide to operate and lead the session. This is a unique opportunity to volunteer at a prestigious heritage site operating a new piece of equipment. This revolutionary concept dates back to 400BC!

  • Operate the Camera Obscura and show paying visitors how they can engage with it
  • Encourage visitors to ‘play’ with resources
  • Speak confidently about the history of the camera obscura
Gallery Stewarding Volunteer

Gallery Stewards have a vital role in providing a warm welcome to our visitors. They make all the difference to every visitor’s experience at Gainsborough’s House, sharing the history of the spaces and the significance of the collections.

  • Welcome, interact with and engage visitors
  • Educate visitors on artworks displayed
  • Answer any questions visitors might have
  • Safeguard the museum’s interior as well as the collections
Gardening Volunteer

The garden provides the link between the new galleries and the Grade l listed House and will welcome all visitors as they move between the gallery spaces. Garden Stewards can help us in two ways— by actively helping to maintain the garden to the highest standard and also by engaging with visitors on the history of the garden and the planting scheme, answering questions and chatting about all things plants. A horticultural background is not essential to this role although enthusiasm and an interest in gardening and plants is desirable.

  • Chat about the garden and its contents
  • Aid with the upkeep of the garden all year round
An image of a Gainsborough's House Shop Volunteer scanning a Gainsborough themed gift card.
Shop & Commercial Assistant

The gift shop at Gainsborough’s House is a key part of our visitors’ experience— over 50,000 visitors and high street shoppers are expected to pass through the shop each year! As a Retail Volunteer, your role will be to work with the paid retail team to ensure every shop visitor has a superb experience and the shop runs smoothly.

  • Help count and check stock
  • Aid with sales and serving customers
  • Encourage sales through engaging visitors
  • Promote the uniqueness of our museum gift shop
  • Answer visitor’s queries

We are grateful to have over 150 dedicated volunteers here at Gainsborough’s House! They contribute a great deal of time to our charity, bring a variety of skills and amplify our visitor’s experience through their extra support.

An image of several people around a table. They are doing a creative activity and listening to the tutor.
Teaching & Learning Assistants

Are you looking to go into teaching? Maybe you already have experience in outreach and learning for children. This role will require a keen individual to be all hands on deck. Our learning team is pivotal in providing community opportunities.

Learning Assistants play a vital role in inspiring our young visitors and providing an exciting, interactive learning experience at Gainsborough’s House. We welcome school visits from nursery groups right through to A-level students, with our core audience being Primary School children.

  • Support the work of our Learning team by offering your skills and time
  • Work closely alongside adults with learning disabilities in our weekly Museum Club
  • Prepare family activities and resources alongside our Learning team
  • Ensure adequate support can be given to pupils on school visits
Welcome Host Volunteer

If you’re enthusiastic and love chatting with people, you’d fit right in welcoming people to Gainsborough’s House! Welcome Hosts are the first point of contact for visitors, providing a warm, welcoming and friendly greeting when they arrive.

  • Engage and interact with visitors upon entry
  • Be approachable and friendly
  • Ensure visitors can have an enjoyable, comfortable and memorable experience
  • Answer any queries to support Front of House staff
  • Direct visitors in the right direction based on their admission
  • Assess accessibility needs of visitors upon entry
  • Provide information on current events and opportunities for visitors
An image of a Volunteer engaging Visitors in the Timothy & Mary Clode Gallery at Gainsborough's House.

Training & supporting your development

We offer compulsory inductions and the opportunity for relaxed learning while on duty. There are frequent tours offered for volunteers by volunteers to familiarise themselves with our collections. Any additional training required for specific volunteer roles will be arranged to ensure you can get the most out of your experience at Gainsborough’s House.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Are you looking to fulfil the volunteer section of your DofE?

As the national centre for Thomas Gainsborough, we are able to offer a totally unique environment for our volunteers. Charities in the arts, culture & heritage sectors preserve history for future generations. Be a vital part of the future and volunteer with us now!

An image of a church being projected through the Camera Obscura. A hand is holding a circular canvas bringing the details of the church and trees around it into focus.