Volunteer Coordinator / Front of House Assistant (Permanent Role)

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Company: Gainsborough’s House
Location: Sudbury, Suffolk
Salary: £12 per hour
Reports to: Commercial Manager
Hours: 35 hours a week including regular weekends
Holiday: 22 days, public holidays
Closing date: Noon on Friday 28th October 2022
Interview date: Monday 7th November 2022
Application Form: https://gainsborough.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Gainsboroughs-House-Application-Form.doc

Join the team developing Gainsborough’s House as one of the leading heritage attractions in East Anglia! Gainsborough’s House will be a major visitor attraction in the East of England as a world-class museum, art gallery, arts and study centre.  It has just completed building four new exhibition galleries to display historic and contemporary exhibitions of international appeal and expand its ability to attract audiences. Due to open in November this year, the Volunteer Co-ordinator/Front of House Assistant will be part of the team that helps to provide an excellent visitor experience.

This post is responsible to the Commercial Manager and based in Sudbury, Suffolk. The Volunteer Co-ordinator will oversee the management of the museum’s volunteers and be responsible for the recruitment, induction and retention of volunteers. The role also includes being part of the Front of House rota to be the first point of contact to every visitor arriving at Gainsborough’s House. The successful candidate will ideally have experience in volunteer management and development within a cultural setting, excellent people skills and demonstrable service skills. Good ICT skills and confidence using till systems are also required. You will be someone who can work under your own initiative and as part of a small team. An organised, flexible, positive and pleasant approach is essential. 

Applicants should send their completed application form with a covering letter to:
Trudy Pickerin, Gainsborough’s House, 46 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2EU or via email: trudy@gainsborough.org
DEADLINE: Return your applications by noon on Friday 28th October 2022.

 Job Purpose: 

To be responsible for the volunteer management across all areas of the museum, a vital source contribution to the successful operation of Gainsborough’s House. You will recruit, develop, coordinate and support volunteers, helping them to deliver a range of roles which offer visitor engagement and interaction whilst helping to ensure the care and safety of our interiors and collections.  

To be in a key customer facing role, being the first point of contact for visitors and provide a warm welcoming greeting. An approachable role, you are on hand to answer questions, help visitors and guests to the museum to orientate themselves and generally give them the information they need to ensure they have an enjoyable and memorable visit. You must excel at engaging with people and be friendly, professional and enjoy working directly with the public.

Main Duties and Activities of the Volunteer Co-ordinator

  • Planning and oversee the volunteer rotas to ensure adequate coverage for the museum’s requirements and being the main point of contact for communication with all volunteers
  • Managing the volunteer database, keeping all records up to date
  • Recruiting and inducting new volunteers by processing new applications 
  • Creating and delivering a training programme both as part of the induction process and for continuing personal development of existing volunteers
  • Managing the welfare of all volunteers by organising quarterly meetings and creating a dedicated monthly newsletter to keep volunteers informed of Gainsborough’s House news
  • Organising volunteer social events and trips
  • Work with Marketing to promote volunteering opportunities with particular attention to inclusion and diversity
  • Acting as the volunteer representative for Gainsborough’s House in the region 

Main Duties and Activities of the Front of House Assistant

  • Providing a warm, friendly and confident welcome to every visitor when they arrive and helping to plan their visit 
  • Developing a basic understanding about Gainsborough’s House, Thomas Gainsborough and the collections of other artists on display, including temporary exhibitions
  • Issuing tickets and processing Gift Aid using the EPOS till
  • Obtaining a detailed knowledge of the till system including cashing up procedures
  • Being aware of the needs of visitors as they negotiate the museum, helping to make Gainsborough’s House accessible to all visitors and offering accessibility facilities when needed such as use of our wheelchair  
  • Developing a detailed knowledge of our membership packages and the benefits associated with each level, to recruit and process new members, and to answer existing member queries and questions 
  • Actively promoting the Gainsborough’s House Guidebook, Exhibition catalogues and related retail offers, encouraging visitors and guests to visit the museum shop
  • Confidently using the phone and reacting to enquiries
  • Developing a detailed knowledge of site facilities and services and responding to daily changes that may affect a visit to the museum.
  • Delivering exceptional customer service by anticipating and responding to visitor needs quickly and flexibly
  • Taking an active role at busy periods, reacting and dealing with unplanned situations as they arise
  • Welcoming groups and schools, and helping with the requirements of the visit
  • Booking courses, events/performances and members trips and, from time to time, helping with these events 
  • Being part of the commercial team to offer support to the retail staff and volunteers
  • Following security procedures to help protect the interiors and collection during opening hours and ensuring visitors’ safety by actively helping to evacuate during an emergency


  • Complying with Gainsborough’s House policies and procedures and reporting any concerns to an appropriate person
  • Acting as an Ambassador for Gainsborough’s House whilst on duty
  • Other related tasks as deemed appropriate
Attributes Description 
Skills & Experience Service and public facing role experience;
Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal;
Confidence in using till & digital systems;
Experience in volunteer management and development within a cultural setting;
Demonstrable experience of working effectively as part of a team;
Integrity, diplomacy and professional skills to work effectively.
Knowledge & Qualifications 
GCSE grade A-D (Level 3 and above) in English, Maths and ICT
Personal Attributes An enthusiasm for the Heritage sector and an interest in developing heritage skills;
Reliable and positive attitude;
Organised and flexible approach;
Excellent interpersonal skills in dealing with people at all levels;
Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
Adaptable and flexible;
Ability to work under pressure, dealing with peaks of activity and deploying resources effectively to meet deadlines;
Interest in art, galleries and museums;
Willingness to work regular weekends, and some evenings and Bank Holidays.

Equal Opportunities

Gainsborough’s House is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all staff and welcomes applications from all individuals for advertised jobs that match their skills and interests. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We particularly encourage applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates.