Volunteers’ Week – A time to say thanks

Here at the Trust, we have a remarkable group of volunteers who dedicate their time to researching the Guild Chapel and who give back to the community by sharing all of this collated knowledge with any visitors of the Chapel.

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, we wanted to share some of our volunteers’ experience of their time working at the Guild Chapel:

 

Pamela Devine, Chapel Volunteer since Summer 2016

  • Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I was a mature student about to start the last year of a history degree and was looking for some voluntary work – the Chapel ticked all my boxes as it encapsulated so much of what I was learning through my studies.
  • What do you enjoy most about volunteering? The opportunity for learning and being involved in an exciting conservation project, making new friends and meeting people from all over the world.
  • What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer? Do it, it changed my life – I ended up writing a book and doing face-to-face and online presentations to local, national and international groups, things I never thought I would ever do! I was even filmed in the Chapel for a travel documentary.

 

Rodger Palmer, Chapel Volunteer since March 2017

  • Why did you decide to become a volunteer? Following conservation work in the Chapel in 2016 there was a request for a volunteer to carry out research in the archives to find out about changes which have taken place to the building over the last 500 years. I volunteered to do this as I was interested in doing archive work. The findings have been useful for the conservators and it has also helped me to learn interesting things about the chapel that I have been able to pass on to visitors.

 

  • What do you enjoy most about volunteering? One of the most enjoyable aspects of volunteering has been meeting and getting to know the other volunteers and talking to visitors from all over the world.  I have also enjoyed learning more about history.

 

  • What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer? Volunteering in the Chapel is a good way to learn about Stratford’s history and also meet some friendly and interesting people.

 

Janet Hall, Chapel Volunteer since Spring 2016

 

  • Why did you decide to become a volunteer? In December 2015 there was a big meeting in the Chapel telling people about the wall paintings and launching the Death Re-awakened conservation project. I had been interested in medieval wall paintings for a long time and I was very pleased – and surprised – to find I had a chance to get to know some close to home.

 

  • What do you enjoy most about volunteering? I like learning about the paintings from the experts who support us, other volunteers, my own research and from the visitors.  When I started at the Chapel, I didn’t expect to do it for more than a year. But we keep discovering new things about the paintings. And I am still here!

 

  • What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer? I have enjoyed volunteering in various other historical settings in the last 12 years and I would say that the Chapel compares very favourably because it is a friendly team,  there are great opportunities to learn and we have very appreciative visitors.

 

Marcus Wall, Chapel Volunteer Since January 2022

  • Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I enjoy history, think the Guild Chapel a marvellous building, I’m a good communicator, enjoy meeting people and have a sound knowledge of medieval history, Stratford’s history and Shakespeare, without being an expert in anything.

 

  • What do you enjoy most about volunteering?  As above, meeting people whether they be from South America or Leicester, sharing my enthusiasm and knowledge, giving advice on what to see, where to eat, drink etc. in the town, listening to their views on a range of matters, (from football to global politics to the price of a pint), their travelling tales etc. I often learn interesting facts about Shakespeare and his times from visitors, who often know far more than I do.

 

  • What I’d say to a potential guide: If anything I’ve stated above strikes a chord, come and give it a go.

 

On behalf of everyone here at the Trust, I want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of our wonderful, dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering at from the Trust, please email: charlotte.summerskill@stratfordtowntrust.com

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