Volunteering at The Museum of Cambridge is one of many things that began for me under the strange circumstances of the pandemic. I started volunteering in a Development role in January 2020 and immediately settled into the rhythms of my position, maintaining the donations and donor records on the Museum’s customer relations database. It’s not a role most people think of when they consider volunteering at a Museum, but it’s definitely one that offers the chance to learn a lot of new skills.
It’s been a pleasure from the beginning to get to learn and work at the museum – I mostly work with Annie, our Development Manager to think about fundraising strategies and keep all our data up to date. Working on the #YourMuseumNeedsYou campaign at the beginning of the year was massively rewarding. I got to watch as donations rolled in every week and steadily climbed towards the Museum’s goal. Stuck away from Cambridge for a lot of spring because of lockdown, my volunteer work made me feel like a part of a community while I sat at home across the country. It’s been exciting to realise how many people care about the museum and the community and histories it stands for.
As well as database work, I’ve also been helping with the Museum Friends relaunch (a subtle plug – if you’re interested in becoming a Friend!). Attending meetings about the relaunch has given me so much insight into how decisions are made behind the scenes at the museum – it’s unravelled some of the choices that most people don’t get to see and shown me how much work goes into every aspect of the Museum.
Initially I signed up to volunteer for 3 months but I seem to have stayed far longer, and plan to do so indefinitely which I think says a lot about the museum environment. Seeing the success of the fundraising campaign has been hugely gratifying, and a reminder of how important the ties are between the staff, the volunteers, and the community of contributors and visitors that form the Museum of Cambridge.
This post was written by Ffion, a volunteer at the Museum of Cambridge.