With a passion for the Museum that goes back some years, and a desire to volunteer in a place he loved after early retirement, Phil explains how he got the role in the first place and what makes him offer so much of his time each week.
Phil Cox …
My volunteer journey began around three years, my timing wasn’t great, but who knew there would be a pandemic around the corner. I joined just before the pandemic struck and due to taking early retirement, I’m able to give three, sometimes four days a week to my volunteer role. This allows me the chance to work in a variety of areas around the site. I’ll always do at least 1-2 days at the bakery, which is a great role, I’m often spotted there. The rest of my time, I can usually be found stewarding around the site.
The Museum is loved by many people in the local area, and I’d often come for a day to experience the beautiful grounds as well as the houses and buildings. I don’t know what it was about the site, but I’d always had a great time when I visited and knew it would be somewhere I’d be happy volunteering. The process and application were straightforward, and the team here made sure I was signed up and ready to start as quickly as possible. I’ve never looked back.
Throughout my life, I’ve enjoyed jobs and hobbies that allow me to meet new people and build great friendships. It is one of the best things about the time I spend at the Museum. The joy of meeting new people and learning something new every day.
For me, taking part in a volunteer role is so much more than just having something to do, or keeping busy. Volunteering at the Museum really makes you feel like you’re part of something special, and like you’re giving something back too.
There have been so many stand out moments during my time here, it’s hard to pick just one. When I look back, I think the day we had all the steam engines here was a real highlight. I’m looking forward to the steam weekend coming up this summer. It’ll be great to see the machinery here again, filling up the day with great sounds, nostalgic smells and lots of people.
Each area in the Museum holds something exciting and interesting for me as a volunteer. The bakery is a creative and inspiring place. I’m using my hands and doing something practical. My role as a steward is rewarding too as I can spend the day talking to people and sharing my own knowledge of the houses and buildings. It’s a fantastic place to spend my time.
To find out more about volunteering at the Weald & Downland Living Museum click here.