Become a Volunteer

Volunteers are at the heart of our Museum

Holst Victorian House relies on a large dedicated team of Volunteers to keep the Museum open to the public five days a week. We’re always looking for another pair of hands.

There are many reasons to volunteer. Here are just some of them.

Paul Treble

Paul Treble

Paul has been volunteering for the Holst Museum for about 3 years.

When he joined the team he was looking for a useful role, but without the level of responsibility of a trustee. He had some spare time, having relinquished the Chairmanship of DART, a charity that ran residential holidays on broad beam canal boats for people with disabilities. He had recently had to give up driving and the museum was a short bus ride from home.

Since joining the museum Paul has become an invaluable member of the front of house team, as well as volunteering in many other capacities. He is part of the Learning Committee, where he shares his expertise in STEM subjects and working with schools in the area.

During lock down Paul took on the task of making sure all the museum’s electrical equipment was PAT tested and set up a system for the future. A big thank you to Paul, for his diligence in completing this sterling piece of work.

“I guess the thing I am enjoying most is solving problems. It’s how I made my living before I retired and it is still the main thing that motivates me.” Paul.

It is great to have someone on the team like Paul who is always happy to take on a problem and provide a solution.

Emily May Barnard

Emily May Maynard

Emily is one of the Holst Victorian House’s latest recruits, having joined the Volunteer team during lockdown. She has recently graduated and is considering work in the museum sector. Volunteering seemed like a good way to find out if it was the career for her, as well as to gain valuable experience.

Whilst the Museum was closed during lockdown she threw herself into volunteering from home using her graphic design skills to produce materials and helping to plan activities and prepare resources for family drop in sessions to be run by the Museum over the school holidays.

Now that the Museum is open again, Emily is a regular Front of House Volunteer and a member of the Learning Committee.

Eileen Ferguson

Eileen has been volunteering at the Museum for over 10 years. She no longer does Front of House but is still very much involved in other capacities. We asked her what she enjoys about volunteering.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of working here is meeting interesting visitors.  It is such a pleasure to hear their account of why they have come to Holst’s birthplace. For some it is a homage – for example, the surprising number of Japanese visitors – for others it’s curiosity about the man and his work. Then there are the ‘something-to-do-in-Cheltenham’ visitors, many of whom have expressed their surprise and delight at how interesting it is. Then again, we have the ‘somewhere-to-get-out-of-the-rain/fog/cold/heat’ folk, who end up being amazed and enthusiastic. Of course, we also get the silent sort, who hardly interact at all. They too I find interesting because of their untold story.

Another thing that I like about being a Volunteer here, is the good company fellow workers!  We all seem to get along so well.”

Shannon Meade

Shannon Meade

I’ve been with The Holst as a volunteer since September 2020 as I was looking to stay connected with the Museum sector whilst on furlough and as a recent MA graduate in Heritage and Interpretation thought I could make a meaningful contribution.

I’ve done front of house shifts, assisted with logging accessioned objects to the collection database and joined a working group where I was able to put my experience in the sector and MA to use consulting on an upcoming project. I used to sit in the Imperial Gardens and listen to Holst symphonies so getting to learn about his life, what influenced and inspired him, more intimately was amazing. I really enjoyed helping with logging the accessioned objects to the database because it gave me a chance to get almost personally acquainted with Holst, and his daughter, Imogen. Seeing what they chose to give friends, their correspondences and the artefacts such as playbooks, transported me back in time. Also it was an aspect of the sector I hadn’t done outside of my course so to get real world experience really nurtured my confidence.

We have a variety of roles to suit different interests. Volunteers help us by:

– Welcoming visitors by staffing the reception desk
– Giving guided tours of the Museum
– Managing the small onsite shop
– Assisting with school trips and family craft events
– Carrying out general administration
– Organising fundraising events
– Tuning the piano
– Gardening
– Conservation
– Cataloguing our collections

No prior knowledge of Gustav Holst or Victorian history is needed.

To find out more you can download our Volunteer role descriptions here:

Front of House 
Learning Volunteer 

If you’re interested in any of these roles or think you can support Holst Victorian House in any other way, please do apply.

If you’re interested in joining us you can apply to become a Volunteer by:

– Picking up a form from the Museum
Filling in this online form
Downloading the form here

You can return the form via email to, drop it into the Museum, or post it to:

Holst Victorian House
4 Clarence Road
GL52 2AY

If you would like to find out more, please email or give us a call on 01242 524846.