Why the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology needs this role

Front of House Volunteers are responsible for visitor support and security in the Museum's galleries; they provide a warm and friendly welcome to visitors to the Museum and play a valuable role in maintaining museum security during opening hours. They answer questions from visitors, deal with enquiries and, where necessary, direct them to the appropriate member of Museum staff. Front of House Volunteers engage with and supervise all visitors in the galleries, support colleagues and fellow volunteers and support the Visitor Services Team in providing an important security presence. Volunteers are vital in keeping the museum free and accessible to the public and to those conducting academic research.

Volunteer tasks

  • Welcoming visitors to the Museum and responding to queries in a helpful manner.
  • Answering enquiries from members of the public, visiting academics etc.
  • Maintaining security in the Museum galleries.
  • Supervision of visitors to the Museum with regard to health and safety and maintaining Museum procedures.
  • Assisting with the evacuation of visitors in an emergency.
  • Cleaning glass display cases and ensuring the overall tidiness of the galleries and reception area.
  • Supporting other volunteers with differing needs.

What you will gain from this role 

  • Develop your skills and experience within a University museum setting
  • Join a motivated, fun and enthusiastic team
  • Gain valuable experience that will enhance your CV and set you apart in the job market
  • Meet new people within your local community
  • Satisfaction of giving back
  • Gain cultural sector contacts within a supportive environment
  • Invitations to FOH talks from curators and collections managers.

Skills required

Volunteers from all backgrounds and experience are welcome, especially those who have an interest in working in the Museum and Heritage Sector. Gallery volunteers should be polite, friendly and helpful to all visitors. You will need to have good observation and conversation skills and have an eye for detail. An interest in archaeology and anthropology is desirable but no specific knowledge is expected. Punctuality, reliability and interpersonal skills are important, as is a willingness to take responsibility for areas such as health and safety and security procedures. The role is suited to anyone who enjoys meeting people and who likes working as part of a team. You will be volunteering under the guidance of the Visitor Services Manager, but much of the time you will be working unsupervised. You will be on your feet for most of your time in the galleries but there is seating for you to utilise. 

Potential time commitment: 

The Visitor Services Manager organises a rota and allocates each volunteer a three-hour shift, either  Tuesday – Saturday 10.15 – 13.30 or 13.30 – 16.30.  Or on a Sunday 11.45 – 4.30.

Location: Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ

Responsible to: The Visitor Services Manager.

Training and Support
All Front of House volunteers will be inducted, trained and supervised by the Visitor Services Manager and other staff members as appropriate. Volunteers will be invited to exhibition opening and social events where they can meet other volunteers and Museum staff. They will also be entitled to discounts on purchases from the Museum shop.

Health and safety responsibilities
You will be responsible for your own health and safety and that of others with whom you volunteer, by reporting all potential and actual health and safety matters including accidents using the correct procedures.

To Apply

Please download and complete the Expression of Interest Form, then send it to: Kate Phizacklea, Visitor Services Manager, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DZ, or email it to kp392@cam.ac.uk.  For further information, telephone: 01223 333516.

About MAA

Cambridge University's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology offers a feast of images and ideas. It houses world-class collections of Oceanic, Asian, African and native American art - canoes, sculptures, masks, and textiles - and major archaeological discoveries, ranging from the earliest stone tools, discovered by Louis Leakey in Olduvai Gorge, to British finds from Roman and medieval periods. As well as being open to the general public, the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology is a research and teaching facility of the University of Cambridge.

About the University of Cambridge Museums

University of Cambridge Museums is a consortium of the eight University Museums, which works in partnership with the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and other Cambridge University collections.  They include: Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle's Yard, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Museum of Zoology, Museum of Classical Archaeology, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and The Polar Museum.

The University's collections are a world-class resource for researchers, students and members of the public representing the country’s highest concentration of internationally important collections, all within walking distance of the City Centre.