Volunteers are integral and valued members of the Horniman team assisting us in both visitor-facing roles and vital work behind-the-scenes.

Along with a supportive learning environment, we offer the chance to gain new skills and experience or simply to do something you enjoy.

Current vacancies

Outdoor Learning Volunteer

Closing date: 04/09/2022

The Horniman is planning new resources for outdoor learning for visiting school groups and we are looking for volunteers to help us trial them.

This role would involve helping the Schools Learning Officers with activities such as pond dipping and minibeast hunting with children of nursery and primary school age. Another task would be distributing and explaining resources for self-led school groups and handing out questionnaires to teachers so that we can evaluate these new activities.

See the role description for more detail and how to apply.

Engage volunteer

This is a regular, visitor-facing role in our Natural History and World galleries helping to bring our displays and objects to life and enabling visitors to have a richer, more hands-on experience. An Engage volunteer shift also involves helping visitors understand the behaviour of insects in the Butterfly House and, with further training, marine life in the Aquarium.

We are looking for people with good spoken English, a friendly manner and a willingness to learn. See the role description below for more details and how to apply.

Music Performance Welcomer

Once a month on Thursdays, the Horniman hosts short performances by one or two musicians in our regular offer called ‘Hear it Live!’. We are looking for a couple of volunteers to assist with the setup of the performance space and to welcome those who have come to hear the musician.  You would also be able to enjoy the performances, yourself.

See the role description below for more details and how to apply.

Family Activity Volunteer

Every Saturday afternoon, the Horniman will be providing free drop-in craft activities for families. We are seeking a small team of volunteers who will work in pairs every third Saturday to welcome families, distribute materials and manage the activity room.

See the role description for more details and how to apply.

We can only accept applications when volunteering roles are advertised.

Find any current roles on this page.

We take volunteers from age 18 upwards and there is no upper age limit.

No. Volunteer roles are different from staff roles and do not lead to paid work.

However, they do provide an opportunity to gain skills and experience.

We reimburse out-of-pocket travel expenses up to a maximum of £12 per day.

Volunteers offering a full day shift can also be reimbursed lunch expenses.

For on-going roles which are usually weekly or fortnightly, like Engage, Family Activity or Gardening, we ask for a minimum of 4-5 months if possible.

Fixed term student volunteer placements last 3 months, doing 1-3 days a week.

We currently have an arrangement with a local Forest Hill school to provide a few places each year. Aside from this we usually don’t have the capacity to organise any additional placements.

Yes, you may volunteer whilst on benefits, but you would need to let the Job Centre know about your volunteering.

The Horniman acknowledges the contribution of volunteers in supporting the organisation to achieve its aim to connect people with global cultures and the natural world, and encourage everyone to shape a positive future for the world we all share.

Read the Volunteering Policy (PDF – opens in this window).