Hi, I’m Sajida and I've been volunteering at Thinktank for around six months now. I began volunteering as an Exhibition Interpreter with the start of the exhibition ‘Mechanical Things’ which showcased machines from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as well as the car itself! The exhibition also displayed other mechanical machines of Rowland Emett, the man who created the inventions for the movie. I really enjoyed volunteering for this exhibition and met some amazing people along the way. When the exhibition ended at the beginning of March, I decided to continue my volunteering at Thinktank as a Heritage Interpreter.
Whilst volunteering at Thinktank I have had the opportunity to engage with lots of schools, work the different machines within the exhibition and talk about their history and the inspiration behind them, speak to visitors of all ages and backgrounds and I have had so much fun along the way. I have made some good friends too, people I would never have met had it not been for volunteering at Thinktank. The staff are warm, friendly and approachable and respect and appreciation is always shown.
Okay so you're thinking, yes it's great if you are a student looking for experience or you're retired and thinking about filling your time but volunteering isn’t really for a working person with a busy and hectic life. Well yes volunteering is great for students and those who have retired but volunteering really can be so beneficial to everyone. I am a mother of two and a teacher who is currently in her nineteenth year of teaching and my life is sometimes hectic but volunteering alleviates some of those pressures and demands and brings a bit of fun.
I chose to continue to volunteer because I have been exposed to this wonderful world of arts and heritage. It's completely different from my work life, so satisfying and inspiring. I am learning new things every day and as a volunteer I am offered so many opportunities for exciting and fun training which I've not experienced for many years. In every training session I meet new people and catch up with some of the new friends I've made. I feel like two massive doors of opportunity have opened and I am thrilled and excited to discover what I will experience next.
I have also recently become a Seasonal Museum Enabler, a member of staff working at Sarehole Mill, which I am really enjoying but I do juggle all jobs to continue volunteering as it is so beneficial. Volunteering really can be for everyone and I have made so many good friends in such a short space of time. Every volunteer I meet and talk to explains why they love volunteering, all with different reasons but all arriving at the same conclusion, that they volunteer to give, but get so much more back in return! In my own experience, I know that my thoughts, ideas and opinions are valued and acted upon. What possible reasons could I have to close the doors of this amazing world?
If you are interested in volunteering for Birmingham Museums then take a look at the current volunteering opportunities we have available across all our sites.