As part of our important front of house team you will play a proactive role in ensuring that Durham Cathedral provides a well-informed and hospitable welcome to its many and varied visitors.
Being visible and available to engage, inform, delight and assist visitors, helping them to feel safe and confident within our spaces.
Supporting the smooth operation of the Cathedral as a working church and visitor attraction, and Durham Cathedral Museum.
Being an ambassador for the Cathedral alongside staff and other volunteers to build and maintain the reputation of Durham Cathedral as one of the most welcoming and best-loved heritage sites in the region and beyond.
In this role you can expect to:
• Ensure a consistent welcome to the Cathedral.
• Assist with the safe and efficient flow of people when entering, inside and leaving Cathedral spaces.
• Deal with visitor requests for assistance and information.
• Assist with concerns from visitors efficiently and politely.
• Be an informed advocate for the encouraged donation
• Help to promote awareness of the visitor offer in terms of activities and events.
• Check tickets on entry to the Central Tower and give associated guidance to visitors embarking on their climb.
• Help staff to maintain an overview of the safety and wellbeing of visitors, exhibition materials and the building, including health and safety, safeguarding, and security.
• Appropriately and respectfully encourage conduct aligned with Cathedral policies
• Accompany and assist staff giving tours of the museum
Durham Cathedral is committed to safeguarding. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. If at any time you see or hear anything that could suggest a safeguarding risk, or you have any other reason to be concerned, you must report it immediately to the Cathedral Safeguarding Officer. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
We will issue you with an authorised Cathedral ID badge and lanyard, which you must wear and keep visible when on duty. We shall also give you a Safeguarding contact card to keep in your ID badge lanyard holder at all times.
We welcome volunteers from any background, of all faiths and none, and those who in turn show respect and sensitivity towards all nationalities, religions, beliefs, cultures, backgrounds, and the values of the Cathedral as a working church.
For this role, we are seeking volunteers aged 16 or over offering the following:
• A pleasant, polite, calm and welcoming manner.
• Confidence in approaching and advising visitors as required.
• Respect and sensitivity towards other religions, beliefs, cultures and backgrounds and the ethos of the Cathedral as a working church.
• Great communication skills.
• Tact and diplomacy.
• Ability to work in a team.
• Discreet and observant of visitor behaviour.
• Reliable with good time keeping.
• Flexibility and adaptability.
• Willingness and ability to learn and use new information through instruction and relevant training courses.
• Ability to build, maintain and expand upon your knowledge and articulate this knowledge to visitors in appropriate and engaging ways.
• An interest in history, heritage, culture and visitor experience.
You will mostly volunteer in the Cathedral and Durham Cathedral Museum and exhibition spaces, which lie within the monastic buildings on the Cloister within the Cathedral site. Occasionally and at your discretion, we may ask for your help with activities in other areas of the Cathedral site.
We ask volunteers in this role to offer a minimum commitment of two shifts per month for a minimum of six months, but we are grateful for any gift of time that you can offer, so please do let us know if your availability is different so we can explore how best to fit around your needs.
The Cathedral is open Monday – Sunday. There are two shifts available per day each up to three hours in length:
• 09:40 - 13:00 and 12:40 - 16:30 (Monday-Saturday)
• 11:00– 15:30 (Sunday)
The following will be provided:
• Induction and specific training relevant to the role
• Development in your role will be ongoing and at times you may be required to participate in additional training, such as our Exceptional Visitor Experience (EVE) workshops
We will ask you to undertake the following essential online courses before you start your volunteer role.
• National Church of England Safeguarding training Basic Awareness module and Foundation module
• ACT Counter Terrorism training
• The Association of English Cathedrals national online training
Further details of how to access the training will be provided once your application form has been accepted.
Unfortunately we are not able to offer expenses.
• Experience in a visitor focused role and heritage environment.
• The satisfaction of creating an exceptional experience for visitors from all over the world and all walks of life.
• The chance to spend time around unique artefacts of international significance.
• Being part of a passionate and dedicated team.
• Learning about the Cathedral and region’s heritage and social context.
• Involvement in the important life and history of Durham’s most iconic building.
• References available on request.
• Various optional training useful in a personal and professional capacity.
• Northern Museums Volunteer Pass – free entry/discounts in other participating museums.
• Opportunity to join the Cathedral’s Community Roll
• Cloister Card offering 10% discount in the Cathedral Shop and Undercroft Restaurant (conditions apply).
Please use the information on our website to plan your travel to the Cathedral by public transport or by parking in and around the city. We are not usually able to offer parking in the Cathedral grounds unless agreed in advance.
Unfortunately, some areas of the Cathedral are not fully accessible without the use of steps, and as a historic building, some floors are uneven. Please do let us know if mobility may be challenging for you in this environment.