Volunteering Roles

Learn about the types of roles volunteers typically have at the Horniman, from our Gardens to our galleries.

Due to a high level of interest in volunteering at the Horniman, we are only able to accept applications for roles currently listed on the volunteering page.

Engage Volunteer

This regular visitor-facing role involves a variety of activities all of which are aimed at bringing our displays and objects to life. Engage Volunteers enable our visitors to have a richer, more hands-on experience.

Volunteers run touch tables providing objects to handle from our natural history and anthropology collections, and also engage with visitors in the Butterfly House and Aquarium.

Volunteering options are weekly (Monday to Friday) or fortnightly if volunteering at weekends, in half or whole day shifts.

Aquarium Volunteer

Volunteers support the day-to-day maintenance and running of the Horniman Aquarium with our Aquarium Team. The Aquarium has 15 exhibits that focus on flora and fauna in a variety of aquatic habitats. Volunteers assist with cleaning and maintaining the displays, preparing food and feeding the creatures who live there, and analysing water quality.

Garden Volunteer

The Horniman Gardens include beautiful dahlia and rose beds, arts and crafts style Sunken Gardens and the Grasslands Garden which features spectacular grasses and ethnobotanical planting, providing year-round variety. Garden volunteers work in a group to assist the Gardens Team once a month on either a Wednesday or Saturday morning, doing tasks such as weeding, watering, pruning and removing litter.

Family Learning Volunteer

Volunteers help the Horniman deliver a wide-ranging programme of activities for families and young children from Busy Bees, to pond dipping and object handling. Volunteering options range from regular weekly shifts, like a Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday, to volunteering only in school holidays.

Collection and Documentation Volunteer

Volunteers work at the Horniman’s Study Collection Centre within a variety of tasks. This includes labelling and barcoding objects, packing and improving storage conditions, assisting with improving the documentation of objects, and facilitating better access to the stored collections.

Conservation Volunteer

The Collections Conservation and Care Team at the Horniman sets the standards and guidelines for the preservation of our collections, whether on display, in storage or on loan. Conservation Volunteers assist the team in a variety of tasks, such as object photography, condition reporting and treatment documentation, and recently were closely involved with the redisplay of the anthropology collection in the world gallery.

Other volunteering roles

We have also involved volunteers in other departments such as in the Library, the music and IT departments, assisting different projects as they evolve. Each volunteer has a vital contribution to make and together make up a dedicated and passionate team.