Interview with Sam Reece
To mark Volunteers’ Week, we had a chat with one of the smiliest faces at DMAC, the very lovely Sam Reece from Visitor Services. Sam manages the team of volunteers here at the museum, and is a beaming advocate for the importance of volunteering. In fact, Sam started her DMAC career as a volunteer!
Hi Sam! Can you tell us what volunteering at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft entails?
Volunteers are really at the heart of everything we do. We literally couldn’t open the doors every day without them, so first and foremost they help keep our museum running. Day to day, volunteering can entail a range of things, including helping the team keep the shop, café, gallery, learning programme, gardening and admissions’ processes running smoothly.
Volunteers also help maximise the commercial potential of the museum and ensure we always provide excellent retail and visitor service. They are key in the customer-facing role providing our customers with information and offering a welcoming, friendly face to our visitors!
What new skills can volunteers gain?
We offer training in customer service and food hygiene, which are great skills to develop. The roles can also help build social skills, as well as offering a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the artistic heritage of Ditchling and Britain’s artistic community of the early 20th century.
We can also help if you have specific career progression goals, and will always gladly provide references for your CV.
Sounds great! Are there any perks when you become a DMAC volunteer?
Yes, loads actually! All volunteers can get 20% off everything in the shop and cafe year round. Our shop is beautifully curated and has, in fact, won some awards, so it’s lovely to offer a discount to our volunteers on everything from prints to homewares to books.
We always have a Christmas knees-up, sometimes an outing, or a workshop event (with mulled wine, of course!) Volunteers also receive exclusive invitations to private views, curator tours and get a first look at new exhibitions. They are also entitled to free museum entry, along with a guest, year round.
You’ve got to love a good perk! Tell us about the team of volunteers at DMAC
Our fabulous team here at Ditchling have a tremendous range of backgrounds and interests. Most of them are interested in the arts, culture and crafts, supporting local causes, and learning about local history. We have some curatorial MA students, art college students, current/retired actresses and actors, G.P’s, teachers, artists and makers, charity workers and accountants. It’s a wonderful mix of people from a range of backgrounds.
Ok finally, tell us – what’s the best thing about volunteering at the museum?
There are a lot of great things! I don’t think I can pick just one.
Being part of the team here in the beautiful museum located in the picturesque village of Ditchling, set at the foot of the South Downs is pretty special. You also feel a warmth having given free support to a local and historic museum, shop and café.
Being a part of a unique venue which punches well above its weight – well, it’s a privilege to be part of, and, of course, volunteering offers great opportunities to socialise and make new friends.
Thank you so much to Sam! If you’d like to have a chat with her about joining our wonderful team of volunteers, download the expression of interest form below and return to us for the attention of Sam Reece to Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SP or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.