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Meet Our Volunteers

Find out what it's really like to volunteer here from the people who know

Gabriella

"I am currently having a gap year before I go to university to study History. Volunteering at Castle Howard has really deepened my love for history and the want to pursue it further as a career. I am a volunteer Room Steward which involves being assigned a room to look after, talking to visitors and answering their questions about the room or the house. But I have also done a range of other roles like decorating for Halloween and helping out with events going on over the Christmas period which I very much enjoyed.

Volunteering at Castle Howard during my gap year has been one of the best decisions I've made and I hope to carry on volunteering into the future. I absolutely love coming here every week as everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming, always making sure that you are comfortable and you are enjoying your time here. Everyone knows each other and it has a real family feel. It has also helped me get a sense of what working in the historic sector is like and what sort of environment you would be working in. Coming to such a gorgeous home makes volunteering here a wonderful experience and anyone would be incredibly lucky to be a part of it!"

Kate

"I volunteer as a Garden Assistant at Castle Howard. Having retired from teaching, I looked forward to trying my hand at volunteering. I tried volunteering with two different organisations, with little success. Both were very interesting and supportive of volunteers, but the roles on offer weren't for me. They do say 'third time lucky' and that seemed to be the case for me. I applied to join the Castle Howard Gardens Team over 18 months ago and have enjoyed it from day one.

The work varies, depending on the seasons. I might be helping to put lights on Christmas trees in the grounds or weeding in the lavender and rose beds. A shift could involve planting hundreds of bulbs; raking and mulching the soil or cutting sweet peas and gathering courgettes and beans. It doesn't matter what jobs have been planned for the volunteers, to me, the important point is that the garden team really do work as a team, explaining all the tasks whilst carefully supervising and supporting all the work that's done. They are always happy to answer any questions and they certainly appreciate the work done by us volunteers. So as well as helping to keep me fit, I also feel that my hard work is valued. Visitors often express their sheer pleasure at the beautiful gardens and complement us on how wonderful everything looks. I tend to agree with them. Even when it's raining! Castle Howard is a stunning, tranquil place to volunteer and it suits me, down to the ground."

Jeanette

"I absolutely love volunteering as a Room Steward at Castle Howard. I am able to share my enthusiasm for history, property and historical treasures with friendly, knowledgeable, like- minded people. I really enjoy the interaction with our visitors, volunteers and staff and I am always made to feel that I am a valued member of the Castle Howard team.

I live in Whitby with my husband and our two lovely boys. I work in the emergency services. After 24 years I felt that I needed to broaden my working experiences and so several years ago I began volunteering at Castle Howard. I still work in the emergency services and it is my weekly volunteering that allows me to rest and re-set for the often challenging week of work ahead. I am very proud to be part of the Castle Howard volunteer team and look forward to meeting and welcoming all our new volunteers."

Adam

"I have been volunteering one day a week with the Castle Howard garden team for just over 6 months. My wife and I took up running in our 50's and were thrilled to discover a "new" parkrun starting at Castle Howard the week after we moved here from the South East on taking early retirement. We became part of the parkrun support team (also voluntary) and our regular weekly visits supporting the runners led me to realise that I wanted to know more about Castle Howard and get more involved. Doing a range of voluntary roles locally has helped to me to start building friendships in my new home-town and I have very quickly established roots here.

During my career I worked away from home a lot and weekends were spent with family and friends. It was rare for me to spend any time in our garden and I had little or no knowledge of gardening. The variety of the gardening role at Castle Howard means I have learnt much in a short time and I've been able to use this as my wife and I plan and develop our own new garden together. The team here have been very welcoming and brilliant in providing expert support and guidance for all the tasks we do.

I enjoy working as part of the gardening team as well as talking with the many visitors that are drawn to Castle Howard. There’s nothing more rewarding than looking at the area you have been working on and seeing what you and the team have achieved. Working in such amazing locations is a joy and along with the seasons, the views of the gardens and surrounding countryside change every visit."

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