You are here: Home > Life @ Castle Howard > In Conversation with a New Volunteer
Translate Website:
In Conversation with a New Volunteer
Castle Howard
By Volunteer Blogger // Tue 12th April 2022
Volunteering, House, New Volunteer
In our second volunteering blog, you’ll meet Sue, a new volunteer who is just about to start in the House.
Q: Tell us a bit about you…

A: I'm Sue and I’m a new volunteer this season at Castle Howard. Originally from Teeside, I have lived abroad for many years, mainly in the Middle East, working in the Hospitality industry as a Sales Manager, I then moved into Marketing and PR. In the UK, I have recently qualified as a Hairdresser and work part time. In my spare time, I paint and have just had my first children’s book printed!

I met my husband in Bahrain (Western Asia) and when we decided to move back to the UK in 2014, the choice was mine as to where we would live. I have always adored York and the surrounding areas! So, after taking my husband on a cold walk around Castle Howard one evening, we were set. We now live just outside of York and a good day out for us is exploring beautiful, local places. He loves the area as much as I do.

Q: What inspired you to become a volunteer?

A: I think it is important to give back and to preserve historical collections for future generations. I feel blessed and over the years I have volunteered in various charity shops, an orphanage in Malaysia, for Age UK and various other roles but never in such grand surroundings as Castle Howard.

Q:What is the process of becoming a volunteer at Castle Howard like?

A: The advert for volunteers at Castle Howard came up on my Instagram feed and I knew I had to try for it.

The hours are very flexible and I knew it would fit around my other obligations. I filled out the online form and sent it off, the form was easy enough and I didn’t have to wait long because Hannah from HR contacted me and asked if I could attend one of the Information Sessions, which I did a few days later. It was very low key and informal (not interview like) taking place in the Courtyard Cafe. There were only two of us on that day, so it was similar to having a coffee and a chat with new friends. We are all passionate about Castle Howard, so we had a lot to talk about. The induction came a few weeks later, a fantastic day, touring the house and having the chance to meet the volunteers from previous seasons who made me feel so welcome.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about becoming a volunteer at Castle Howard?

A: One thing I am looking forward to is driving along the amazing road to reach Castle Howard. I have been fascinated by the Stray since my first journey to Castle Howard many years ago, seeing the House in all its glory still gives me the wow factor. Castle Howard is one of the best houses that I have visited and because the Howard family are in residence, it has a real family feel. I am also looking forward to spending time amongst the beautiful, historical collections and learning all I can about the history before passing it on to the wonderful visitors. 

Q: What is your favourite spot at Castle Howard so far and why?

A: This is an unfair question because I have so many but… mainly Ray Wood, the Atlas Fountain and the walks along the lake. Inside the House, I love the Great Hall and the China Landing.