Hello, my name is Titis and I am currently studying in the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham. I began volunteering for the Conservation Club at Birmingham Museums in October 2016, and because I enjoyed the season, I decided to continue the following year. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to continue volunteering – I am now in my fourth season of the club.
At first, I was doubtful about my decision to join the club. First, I did not know if I could be consistent with my commitment, because I am also a full-time student. Second, as an international student, I did not have much knowledge about British history, and I worried that this would put me at a disadvantage. Third, I did not have experience of handling historical objects or conservation cleaning historical locations. However, my concerns were completely unfounded. The supervisors I work with are friendly, and I am not only gaining new knowledge and skills but also new friends.
As a Conservation Club Member, I visit and support the deep clean of five of Birmingham Museum Trust’s historic properties as well as the Museum Collection Centre. Furthermore, my involvement has given me knowledge about other sites as well, such as Weoley Castle and Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. It is fascinating when I can enter rooms that are not always open to the public or handle and clean objects that visitors are not allowed to touch. I have also learnt stories about the sites or the objects that I have never heard before and maybe I would never know if I did not join the club.
There are many positive things I have gained from the club other than those mentioned above. In addition, I have been trained on Birmingham history, received accredited training called Welcome All and also visited other museums in England, such as in Manchester and Leicester on the annual Volunteer Day Trip. I even enjoyed a tour of the British Museum! I will definitely share my experience with my friends and my colleagues back in Indonesia, after I finish my studies. I would encourage anyone interested in history, or anyone just looking for a fun and rewarding experience, to apply and get involved with Birmingham Museums.
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.