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

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.

Schools: Large Print Resources Volunteer

Closing date: 25/09/2022

Our Schools team run a popular programme of activities for visiting schools. To support school visits, we provide children with printed resources that guide them around the Museum on themed trails.

To ensure that these trails, and the Museum, are accessible to as many learners as possible, we are looking for a volunteer to help us recreate all 17 resources as large print guides.

This is a short-term role for someone with good skills in Microsoft Publisher.

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

Aquarium Volunteer

This is a highly practical role supporting the aquarium team with the day-to-day maintenance of the aquarium, including feeding and cleaning. If you have a keen interest in marine life and maybe some experience keeping an aquarium yourself, this is an ideal opportunity to gain more experience and skills.

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

Gardens volunteer

This is a weekly volunteer opportunity assisting the gardens team in a variety of tasks on a Wednesday from 10am – 3pm, including a lunch break. Enthusiasm for gardening, knowledge of common weeds and an ability to follow instructions are all that is needed.

See the attached 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).