Volunteers with time and imagination are invited to make heritage, arts and culture more accessible to older people in Nottingham, especially those in care homes.

Nottingham City Museums and Galleries are looking for volunteers to engage older citizens using poetry, storytelling, music, dance, reminiscence, photography, drawing, painting, digital technologies, sculpture and film, inspired by the city’s museum collections and exhibitions.

This volunteer role of Museum Care Ambassador is an important part of ongoing work to improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing of older people by enabling them to access and enjoy culture, collections and exhibitions, no matter where they live, without having to visit museums.

Project Officer Zoe Sussmeyer says: “If your passion is the arts and culture, you enjoy caring for and empowering unrepresented groups, or you simply love reminiscing and bygones then you are just the person we are looking for.

“Our current volunteers are from a wide range of backgrounds and have diverse skills ranging from a retired senior social worker with a passion for vintage toys to a newly graduated photographer. Participants across the city have enjoyed informal chats as they recall things from ‘back in their days;’ have a big group sing-along and even take their first ever selfie. Whatever the activity, the common outcome has been smiles and laughter.”

The initiative is a partnership between Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, Nottingham care homes and Imagine, a three-year programme funded by the Arts Council and Baring Foundation, using art to enrich the lives of older people in care.

The Museum Care Ambassador role involves helping to research, organise and run creative workshops with a focus on arts and heritage. Inspiration can come from a variety of sources including Nottingham museums’ handling collection and exhibitions at Nottingham Castle, Wollaton Hall and Newstead Abbey.

Free training will be provided, giving volunteers an understanding of safeguarding for vulnerable adults, dementia awareness, object handling and facilitating group and individual activities. Workshops in care homes will run in block bookings of three to five weeks, and each volunteer is asked to deliver at least two blocks per year.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, says: “This is a great opportunity to inspire and improve the lives of older citizens, make friends across the generations and support our ‘age friendly city.’

“It’s also a great opportunity for volunteers who would like to move into this area of work to pick up some really worthwhile training, skills and experience to boost their CV.  Volunteers will benefit from excellent ongoing training opportunities to help them improve their own confidence and chances in the jobs market as well as making a real difference to the health and wellbeing of those they work with.”

For any further details or for an application pack please contact Project Officer Zoe Sussmeyer about our new training dates in February. Tel: 0115 8762205 or Email: zoe.sussmeyer@nottinghamcity.gov.uk