Gloucester’s 2019 History Festival runs from 7th – 22nd September. Welcoming over 19,000 visitors to the City it encompasses talks, tours, theatrical performances, hands on workshops, crafts, arts and many other opportunities where history and heritage is showcased, explored and made to come alive. Central to the festival are the Blackfriars talks, but of equal importance are the countless City voices and Heritage Open Day events that also make up the lively program.
As you can imagine such a dynamic and well supported festival enjoys a huge volunteer input that needs co-ordinating and administrating and this is where we hope you will come in!
One of your key tasks as volunteer co-ordinator will be creating and staying on top of the volunteer rota throughout the festival. You will be given a list of volunteers and their initial availability throughout the festival fortnight. You will then need to turn this into a rota, making sure that stewarding of the Blackfriars talks, and green room, along with the few other City Voices that need central History Festival volunteers are adequately covered and shared out fairly between the volunteers. Some volunteers may only want to do the Green room, or just stewarding, others will be happy to do both so you’ll have to try and balance the rotas according to people’s preferences and talents, but also negotiate with volunteers to see if you can get them to do less favoured tasks as well as the ones that they really want.
There will invariably be gaps in the initial rota and so we’ll supply you with the contact details of the volunteers to see if you can negotiate with them to give a bit more time. If it really looks like there are gaps that can’t be filled from the original pool we’ll need you to flag this up with the History Festival Manager in good time so extra volunteers can be sourced.
There will be some inevitable re-jigging of the rota as people discover they have other commitments, so you’ll need to stay on top of that as we get closer to the History festival. You’ll also need to act as that last minute point of contact for any sudden absences during the festival fortnight and be willing to do that ring around to try and get cover.
There will be a few evening training and briefing events for volunteers in August and at the very start of September and ideally you’d be able to attend these. It would also be great if you could be physically around at the festival itself for some of the time to help with the on the ground co-ordination, but we can certainly work around any
pre-existing commitments during the fortnight you have.
We are aiming to have all the initial responses about volunteer availability by the end of May so you could start building the rota then. We expect the contacting of volunteers and updating the rota would be an hour or two commitment each week during June and July. During August this would probably got up to two or three hours a week and then be a much more time heavy commitment during the first three weeks in September, especially while the Blackfriars talks element of the festival is in full swing.
To successfully do this volunteer co-ordination role you would need access to an email address and be able to check it regularly. You would also have to be willing to make and receive phone calls from volunteers (expenses to cover this would be paid). You would need to be organised and methodical, and be willing to negotiate with volunteers to swap around their duties and times. You would have access to people’s personal contact details to make contact with them so you would have to be sensitive to and take appropriate care of those details. Throughout your role you would have the full support of the festival manager and the wider History Festival team.
Why get involved?
This is a real opportunity to play a pivotal role in Gloucester’s signature festival. It is a very sociable role. You’ll meet and talk to lots of new people throughout the lead up and duration of the festival. You will practice and strengthen communication, negotiation and organisational skills. These are key skills that many job roles look for and so this experience could help strengthen CVs or interview responses. You will also get to play a practical role in events management – again key experience if you are looking to work in this field.
You will receive reasonable expenses for this role to cover the cost of things like telephone bill to contact volunteers, transport costs to get to training and the festival itself. You’ll also receive a festival tee-shirt (a very sought after, exclusive garment!) and refreshments throughout the festival fortnight. You’ll also get an early sneak peak of the festival programme so you can earmark any talks or events that you’d like to attend, or indeed speakers you’d like to meet.
How to get involved?
- Sign into your account or sign up to Volunteer Makers.
- Accept the challenge
- Wait for a reply from the History Festival team.
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