This week is Volunteers’ Week and we are celebrating the wonderful work done by our volunteers and thanking them for all the hours and effort they put into making the museum the best it can possibly be.
To showcase our brilliant volunteers every day this week we will be posting blogs written by the volunteers themselves about what they do at the museum, why they volunteer and why they love it. Every day they will give you an insight into the integral work that volunteers carry out across the Univerity’s Museums and Collections in their own words; today’s volunteer is Alessandra, an Erasmus trainee from Italy at the the Ure Museum…
Let’s start by saying that mine is a particular volunteering experience; I’m actually doing an Erasmus traineeship at the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, this means that I’m working at the museum all day every day and I’m doing lots of different things.
I started my traineeship in the middle of March and I’m going to finish it in June, three months that will give me an idea of what it’s like to work behind the scenes at a museum and of everything I need to know about the inner mechanisms of this particular workplace.
As I said I’m at the museum every day, some might think that it may be a bit boring, but that’s far from true! Even if this is a small museum there is never a dull moment and there are many things to do.
I help around in any way I can, so I get to spend time with the other volunteers doing archiving or other much needed tasks that are always interesting and sometimes a bit funny, like when we came across some very unusual Christmas cards where instead of reindeers and snowmen there was a drawing of some orientalising style pottery. I also have the opportunity to do some research work and handling ancient objects to try and figure out where, and when, they are from.
This is not my first experience as a volunteer; when I was in high school I used to volunteer at the local kindergarten twice a week so it’s no surprise that my favourite task so far was helping around on the school and family events held at the museum!
It’s always great to be able to see children being excited about history, mythology and archaeology. They remind me of myself when I was a little kid, enchanted by tales of Heracles or Achilles (to be honest I was also quite smitten by Telemachus). Maybe among the children that I met while volunteering at the Ure there are some that will discover they have a passion for history, art history and archaeology and really, that would be the best reward!