Volunteering & Job Opportunities

Gilbert White & The Oates Collections is a wonderful place to work, and we are a happy hardworking, team. We have many wonderful volunteers who add hugely to the enjoyment of our visitors through a variety of means. We encourage and welcome volunteers of all ages and from all backgrounds. We can make effective use of almost any skill, experience, talent or time a volunteer can offer.

We host an open-morning for Volunteers and enquirers on the second Wednesday of each month between, 10.30am and 12.30pm, from March to December – known as the ‘Chocolate Biscuit Club’. This is an opportunity for Volunteers, old and new, to gather together. It’s a chance to meet other like-minded individuals, learn more about current volunteering roles, plus the opportunity to receive updates or training and to gather working parties together for various projects or tasks.

An exciting opportunity has opened up to help lead a new chapter for this historic heritage attraction, following a £3m refurbishment, helping more visitors gain knowledge of the natural world to help ensure its survival.

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Following a successful application to Heritage Lottery in 2016, the Museum re-opened in May 2018 after a major £3m rebuild. This includes a new car park, a new café and entrance, a new shop and new galleries and support for additional programmes of activity. The aim of the HLF project has been to give the Museum greater long term sustainability and financial resilience. 

Our ambition is increase the numbers using the museum, either as visitors or as attendees at events and courses. The new Chair has a unique opportunity to help shape the direction of the museum in this new phase. Events such as weddings are proving a growing source of income. We need to widen our appeal to include more of our potential audience. We are well situated geographically - 314,000 people live within 30 minutes drive and 3 million live within 60 minutes drive. We see our unique collection of heritage assets – museum collections, buildings, gardens and parklands – as a springboard, inspiring our visitors to make their own journeys into the natural world.

Principal responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership to the charity and its Board, ensuring that Trustees fulfil their responsibilities and operate within its charitable objectives
  • Ensure that constructive relationships exist with and between the Trustees
  • Ensure that systems are in place to evaluate, manage and mitigate the risks the charity faces
  • Ensure that the Board maintains the sound financial health of the charity, with appropriate financial accountability and to ensure that meetings are well planned and effective 
  • Ensure that the governance arrangements are effective and develop the knowledge and capability of the Board of Trustees 
  • Work closely with the Directors to give direction to Board policy-making 
  • Act as an ambassador and spokesperson for the cause and the charity, and represent the charity at external functions, meetings and events
Personal Qualities

  • A passionate commitment to the charity and its objectives 
  • Strong leadership and inter personal skills 
  • Comfortable in an ambassadorial role in public
  • Tact, diplomacy and powers of persuasion, with the ability to listen and engage effectively
  • Strong networking capabilities 
  • Ability to foster a collaborative working environment 
  • Willing to go the extra mile in committing time to the charity. 


  • Experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level
  • Successful track record of achievement through their career
  • Experience of charity governance and working as part of a Board of Trustees
  • Experience of external representation, delivering presentations and managing stakeholders
  • Significant experience of chairing meetings and events
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of charity finance issues.

Fundraising Manager 

The Fundraising Manager will join GWOC at an exciting time of development as we celebrate the major redevelopment project and aim to build on this success to grow supporters. We will look to this position for leadership of a new fundraising department and appropriate strategy to deliver year-on-year growth in voluntary income.

We are looking for an experienced individual with a good track record in fundraising for charities, particularly in writing successful and engaging grant proposals from trusts and foundations, and of cultivating relationships with funding bodies and individuals. The post-holder will develop our relationship management database (Blackbaud eTapestry) to build and develop existing relationships, as well as identifying and cultivating new ones.

During the first 6 - 12 months, the successful candidate will be expected to establish him/herself in the role and develop a fundraising strategy whilst engaging internal and external relationships. Some early income generation will be looked for. After this period and as a result, a reasonable annual

fundraising target for gifts and pledges will be proposed and agreed with the Co-Directors, who will line-manage the role.

The successful candidate be good at working with others to maximise their potential and have the ability to co-ordinate bids to support a variety of activities and projects across the organisation. Comfortable with budget management, highly organised, and with a strong attention to detail, they will be personable and engaging. They must be a self-starter with a desire to use creativity to benefit fundraising work and that of the whole museum. Previous experience in a heritage / museum / arts role is desirable, but not essential.

Fundraiser Job Spec and Role


Wedding & Events Internship


You'll need to commit to volunteering for three to five days/evenings a week, for seven and a half to eight hours a day, depending on which project you choose to volunteer for.

As an intern you will receive:

* Travel expenses to and from your placement

* Supervision, coaching and support throughout the duration of the internship.

* Any appropriate training which is required.

* Advice and support on writing your CV and application forms, as well as interview skills.

* Access to our internal vacancy list.

* A reference on satisfactory completion of the volunteer internship.

For the wedding internship we also offer:

* To support the intern in gaining a certificate in Wedding Planning from a certified body such as the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning (capped at £500)

* Travel & subsistence to and from the place of the final examination for the certificate.

Find Out More

Catering Assistant  

We are looking for someone to join our Tea Parlour team. Must be willing to work weekends. 

Catering Assistant Job Description

2017 GWH&OC Application Form

2014 GW&OC Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Volunteers roles

If you'd like to join our team of 150+ volunteers then just fill in this Volunteer Registration Form  and send to volunteerteam@gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk

Garden: Join the Wakes Weeders! We have a wonderful garden team of volunteers and are looking to grow our ranks. There is plenty to do for all levels of ability, interests and time commitments. 


Events: There are a host of extra tasks to be undertaken to support our busy and varied Events Programme, from visitor greeting and orientation, assisting with car-parking, selling programmes or raffle tickets to assisting with refreshments or supporting our shop staff.

General Roles include: Leaflet DistributorEvent VolunteerRoad Sign DistributorsFundraising Ambassadors

life lab

Education Programme Support: We host a programme of formal curriculum linked education sessions and a steadily expanding lifelong learning programme plus many family learning activities. Additional support with session development, production of materials, marketing, promotion and administration is always invaluable. 

General Roles include: Education TechnicianChildren’s Activities Assistants

volunteer at Gilbert whites

Room Stewards, Greeters and Costumed Interpreters: This is a great opportunity for those who love engaging with our visitors. A friendly, approachable manner is essential and an interest in learning more about our museum and collections.

General Roles include: Costumed InterpretersGreeterRoom Steward

Administration: There are never quite enough hours in the day to complete all of the tasks on our ‘to do list’. For those who are computer literate, well organised and methodical there are many opportunities to support our small and very busy team of staff.

General Roles Include: Wedding Viewing GuideMarketing AssistantDigital Media Assistant

Flower Arranging: Many of our visitors notice and appreciate our lovely flower arrangements, picked fresh from Gilbert’s garden each week. We have a rota of dedicated flower arrangers who enjoy refreshing the arrangements, typically each Friday, and for various special events throughout the year.

General Roles Include: Flower Arranger

top tips for july

Costume Making: Help us to create, mend and maintain our period costume collection. Costumes are worn on our special events days. We would also like to create a collection of period costumes for visitors to try on.

General Roles Include: Costume Maker

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