Happy Volunteers Week!

This week is Volunteers Week, and we want to celebrate by saying a big thank you to our fantastic team of volunteers here at the Trust, who dedicate their time to researching the history of Stratford’s Guild Chapel and offering tours to tourists and locals who come to visit. Our volunteers are what truly bring the Chapel to life.

In addition to our team of existing Chapel volunteers, we are growing our volunteer community after recently appointing Charlotte Summerskill as the new Volunteer Coordinator to help launch additional projects across the town!

Charlotte Summersill, Volunteer Coordinator

“I started my position at the Trust back in April, and I am thoroughly enjoying my new role and feeling a part of the Stratford community. After meeting all our existing volunteers, I really felt the passion that they share for the Chapel. The hours of research that some of our volunteers have undertaken to unearth some of the Chapel’s history is remarkable. One of the nicest things about our volunteers is how the shared enthusiasm for the Chapel has brought a group of strangers together to form new friendships, which have been especially important throughout the pandemic.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our volunteers, not only for your hard work in promoting the Chapel, but also for making me feel so welcome in my new role!

In addition to the Chapel I have exciting plans coming up for conservation projects across Rowley Fields and the Community Orchard (on Welcombe Hills), as well as Stratford’s very own Repair Café, coming to you later this year! If you are interested in volunteering either in the Chapel, in environmental conservation or would like to get involved with the Repair Café, please email me on charlotte.summerskill@stratfordtowntrust.co.uk.”

 

Are you interested in volunteering for the Trust? Here’s what one of our existing volunteers have said about their time at the Guild Chapel.

Margo Galvin, Chapel Volunteer since Summer 2017

Hello, I’m Margo and I’ve been volunteering as a Guild Chapel guide since the summer of 2017. I moved to Stratford in the January of that year and decided from the start that I wanted to get involved with activities in the town. I found out about volunteering opportunities in the town at the River Festival and the following week I met the Guild Chapel volunteer co-ordinator who signed me up there and then.

What I particularly liked about volunteering at the Chapel when I started was the flexibility. I was still working at that time and, therefore, could only do Saturdays, which worked fine for me. Now, I’ve got more time I can pretty much pick and choose my volunteering slots to fit around my other commitments.

I quickly discovered that the Chapel, although quite small, is a magical place to work at all times of the year. It has so much history and, of course, there are the beautiful medieval wall paintings that tell so many stories. I’ve shared these stories with people from all over the world, and all walks of life, and had some great conversations. It’s very rewarding when people leave after you’ve been chatting to them and they say ‘Thank you, that was so interesting’.

For anyone thinking of joining the Chapel volunteers, I would say don’t worry if you’re not a history expert. You don’t need to be! There’s plenty of information on file at the Chapel to get you up to speed and you quickly pick things up as you go along. Some of our volunteers have done their own research into aspects of the Chapel and we’ve all learned new things from this.

We’re a friendly team and you’ll be made to feel welcome. We keep in touch with each other via our WhatsApp group and meet up for coffee mornings where we share news and information. There always seems to be something going on! So, if you’re looking for an interesting, flexible volunteering opportunity right in the centre of town, this could be it!

 

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