Volunteering at Ironbridge

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust owes its very existence to volunteers and volunteering has remained at the heart of the Trust throughout its history.

Volunteers' Week 2024


To mark Volunteers' Week 2024, from Monday 3 June - Sunday 9 June, we are publishing profiles of some of our current volunteers on our social media channels. 

To get a flavour of the variety of roles we have available for volunteers, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

As a Trust volunteer, you will be part of a large, friendly team of people who share a passion for our magnificent sites, collections, unique history and stories. You will have a chance to learn new skills and share your expertise and knowledge; get to know amazing places and history; receive valuable work experience, training and support; and meet new people and make friends.

We provide high-quality opportunities for everyone to enjoy, explore, value and share our story with our visitors.

So whether you want to pursue a career in heritage, share your expertise, or just want to meet new people and indulge your passion, we want to hear from you.

If you want to find out more you can always call 01952 435 919 or email volunteering@ironbridge.org.uk.

These are active roles that we're actively looking to fill:

Sentinel conservation project

You will be a key part of the team that conserves two Sentinel locomotives that form part of the Trust Collection. Working with a small team you will help to conserve these important objects so they are stable now, and can be enjoyed by future visitors. You will also explain the work and object history to visitors.

Find out more about the role here.

museum technician

To help maintain museum interactive displays to a high standard, using a wide range of materials and skills across a range of craft disciplines. Potential for volunteer to also design and build new science, technology, and engineering-based interactives, suitable for all ages, for our museums.

Find out more about the role here.

darby houses guide

This is a key role in providing a warm welcome and high-quality experience for all visitors to the Darby Houses. Guides are essential in helping visitors to engage with the story of the houses and the Darby family in a relaxed and informal way and supporting them if they wish to learn more and explore the houses and collections at a deeper level.

Find out more about the role here.

volunteer gallery assistant

This role requires someone to act as a meet and greet point for visitors to our 2024 temporary exhibition, to monitor the gallery space and to assist visitors with interactives when required.

Find out more about the role here.


The role serves to provide support to the Estates Team. Working alongside the Estates Team and other members of the volunteer gardening team to support the care of the gardens and grounds of the Blists Hill site and maintain it to an excellent standard.

Find out more about the role here.

digital collections interpretation assistant

We'd like someone to help improve the accessibility of our collections by supporting the development of our digitally accessible collections. The initial scope of this role is to interpret 60 objects from our collections for our digital audiences via the ‘Discover’ pages on the Trust’s website.

Find out more about the role here.

blists hill victorian town costumed site guide

As a costumed site guide, you will be based in the Goods office at Blists Hill but will spend most of your time leading groups of visitors around the site. You will conduct tours in third person which will have a variety of specialist focus.

Find out more about the role here.


As a facilitator at Jackfield Tile Museum you will verbally provide information that delivers the key learning points for the site whilst guiding visitors around the site.

Find out more about the role here.

learning volunteer - school greeteR

This volunteer role is to welcome school groups as they arrive at Blists Hill Victorian Town.

Find out more about the role here.

LEARNING VOLUNTEER - victorian school helpER

Would you like to meet school groups who are attending the Victorian School Room workshop and prepare them for the experience? You will also accompany the group to the schoolroom.

Find out more about the role here.

costumed steam operatoR

You will be a key part of the visitor offer and instrumental in delivering the museum Trusts charitable aims. As a costumed steam demonstrator, you will operate items of the Trusts working machinery collection and explain its operation and significance in the third person.

Find out more about the role here.

Volunteer Tour Guides

We're looking for some people to lead guided tours at three of our museum sites.

Broseley Pipeworks: The volunteer tour guides lead guided tours for visitors around the unique time capsule workshops and galleries of Broseley Pipeworks. Find out more about the role here >

Jackfield Tile Museum: The volunteer tour guides lead guided tours for visitors around the workshops and galleries of Jackfield Tile Museum; re-telling the history of the area and the significant impact the site had. Find out more about the role here >

Tar Tunnel: The volunteer tour guides lead guided tours for pre-booked groups from Coalport China Museum to the Tar Tunnel. Please note: this role involves spending periods of time outdoors and walking a short distance between the Museum sites. Find out more about the role here >

Fancy joining us? Drop us a line to talk through your perfect role, call 01952 435 919 or email volunteering@ironbridge.org.uk

If you have queries or questions about volunteering, you might find the answer here:

How much time do I have to give?

There is no minimum time you must give but some roles do benefit from a regular involvement. We have opportunities that are for a few hours a week and continue on an ongoing basis, but we have a range of roles from full-time to one-off events. You can decide with your volunteer supervisor what arrangements suit you and your place of volunteering.

What age do I have to be?

The minimum age for volunteering is 16. There is no upper age limit to volunteering; a volunteer’s ability to complete a task or role will be assessed on an individual basis.

If you are under 18, a parent or guardian must give permission for you to volunteer and you must be supervised by an adult. We cannot always provide supervision so this may restrict younger people to volunteering with their parent or guardian.

Can I claim benefits while volunteering?

Yes, you are free to volunteer while you are receiving benefits as long as the work you do is unpaid, and you meet the rules of your benefit. You can find all the latest information about volunteering and benefits on the GOV.UK website.

What skills & experience do I need?

The majority of our roles do not require any specific skills or experience. The skills and qualities we are looking for are always specified in the role description. If our volunteering roles require you to have a particular skills these will be clearly stated.

What training & support will be given?

Your volunteer supervisor will help to prepare and support you to fulfil your role, training will be different for different roles. All volunteers have a staff member who they can go to for help and support.

You will receive an induction to the Trust and site your are volunteering at so that you are confident in what we are asking you to do.

Can I claim expenses?

Whilst as a volunteer you give your time for free, we do not expect you to be left out-of-pocket for any volunteering activity you carry out on behalf of the Trust. You are able to claim reasonable travel expenses.

Where can I volunteer?

You could volunteer in one of our 10 museum sites across the Ironbridge Gorge.

How will I be kept in touch with?

Most of our museum sites use word of mouth, for example a face to face briefing or one to one chats to keep volunteers and staff informed of what is happening where they volunteer.

A printed and electronic newsletter or important messages will be sent to volunteers and posted on notice-boards to keep volunteers informed and to ask for input on decisions.

How do I contact the Volunteer Team?

You can contact the volunteering team by email or by phone on 01952 435 919. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.  Please let us know a bit more about yourself, your interests, skills and availability, by completing the form below. We will then contact you to discuss the very latest volunteering opportunities we have available that might meet your needs.

*You may be asked at a later date to complete a further application process.

Please download our Volunteer Enquiry Form (Word document). 

Corporate Volunteering is a great way to build teams, deliver on your CSR targets and for your colleagues to learn new skills and have lots of fun. Each project is different and can be matched to your team’s needs and objectives, they can either be physical or desk based, indoor or outdoors, but are always fun and rewarding.

We welcome groups of any size and for any duration, from half a day to a regular commitment over the year. Full operational and administrative support will be given throughout the project, including risk assessments and all health and safety training.

In the past Corporate Volunteers have helped us:

  • Catalogue our costume collection
  • Create a new sensory garden at Coalport
  • Steward events
  • Build a new greenhouse

For more information about Corporate Volunteering, please contact us at corporatepartnerships@ironbridge.org.uk.

Corporate Membership Scheme

You can also become a Corporate Patron and enjoy a host of benefits for your company, employees and their families, including: free annual passes to visit our museums; discounted entry to our museum events*; and team building volunteering days.

*Terms and Conditions apply for each event.



Geraldine is Programme Secretary and Digital Media Reporter for the Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.

As a retired history teacher and passionate historian, Geraldine's favourite thing about volunteering with us is the opportunity to learn more about her local history.

We're delighted to be celebrating over 50 years since Geraldine first began volunteering with us.


Jean-Luc began volunteering with our Marketing team in May 2024

One of Jean-Luc's favourite things about volunteering with the museums is meeting new people and the fact that his tasks vary each day meaning no two days are the same.

He said, "All the benefits that come with the role, like having access to the museums, are just an added bonus."


Sue joined us as a Library and Archive Volunteer in 2023, just two weeks after starting her retirement, when she saw an advert on our website. 

As Sue wasn't born in Shropshire, she loves finding out about the history of Ironbridge and the local area, in particular the Darby family.


James started volunteering with us twelve months ago. Why? Because our museums are his daughter's favourite place to visit in Ironbridge.

After joining us through the 'Stepping into Work’ programme delivered by My Options, at Telford & Wrekin Council, which supports adults with learning disabilities, James has been enjoying helping us with our museum maintenance and welcoming visitors to our museums.


Volunteering in our Library and Archives since the 1980s, Jim first approached the team when he was searching for more information about his own family tree. 

His proudest memory was cataloguing Lilleshall Company records where he discovered a cottage rental agreement signed by his grandad.

Steve & Lesley

Husband and wife duo Steve and Lesley volunteer as demonstrators at Blists Hill Victorian Town.

They moved to Shropshire in 2016 and decided to volunteer with us as a way of meeting people. Even now, after more than 7 years of volunteering, the pair continue to learn new things about the Victorians when they are with us.


Meet Paul who volunteers at Blists Hill Victorian Town as a gardener.

Paul helps to maintain the Blists Hill Pleasure Garden and all the other ornamental planting around the site.




Meet Thelma, a Volunteer Guide at Rosehill House, one of the Darby Houses.

In her role, Thelma helps bring to life the story of how members of the Darby family lived there hundreds of years ago.