The project will work with jobseekers to explore and critically analyse volunteering within heritage sites (specifically Nottingham Castle). Aiming to increase the visibility of volunteering, break perceived barriers and preconceptions of volunteering and highlight the benefits and impact of volunteering. Jobseekers will be active participants in the discussions, adding their voice to each session (through chats, jamboards, videoasks). Volunteering opportunities will stem from this.


Skills and knowledge shared:

Problem-solving, Creativity, Empathy, People-centred approach and Museum sector awareness.

Communicate Nottingham Castle as one for curious rebels. The drawbridge down for all.


Target audience:

All customer groups but those that are either needing to build their confidence, motivation or develop skills to improve their job prospects or those with an interest in heritage sites, the Arts or Creative sector (art, music, drama, digital technology). There will be volunteer opportunities for knitting, musicians, gardeners and grounds maintenance as well as admin, customer services, explainers to enhance the learning/education experience of visitors.


The mentoring circles will be delivered by MS Teams over two sessions (content over page) on 18th and 25th January 2021, 10am to 12pm.

Invitations will be sent via email (not calendar invite) the Friday before (15th and 22nd).



Session 1– Monday 18th January / 10 – 12 Theme: Breaking the barriers

  • Housekeeping
  • Ice breaker – “Share and describe an object that describes who you are.”
  • Introduction to Nottingham Castle (3 minute video)
  • Overview of the Volunteer Programme
  • Preconceptions of Nottingham Castle and volunteering (Ideas session – Introduction to Jamboard)
  • Barriers 2 volunteering (Ideation Jamboard)


  • In search of a perfect onboarding process

(Rapid prototyping and sharing)

  • Sharing Nottingham Castle’s volunteer application process and ask them to test it out, along with “Videoask” as homework


Session 2- Monday 25th January / 10 – 12 Theme: Seeing the opportunities

  • Housekeeping
  • Ice breaker – “Share and describe a personal object you would place in a Museum or at Nottingham Castle”
  • Recap of last session
  • How might we challenge perceptions of what volunteering is? (Ideations)
  • Introduction to the Volunteer opportunities at Nottingham Castle
  • How might these volunteering opportunities be enriched by volunteers? What opportunities have yet to be explored? (Ideation)


  • Considering different volunteer demographics and motivations (empathy mapping – the potential for breakout rooms)
  • Considering own motivation for volunteering – does Nottingham Castle meet those expectations?
  • Welcome call to volunteer at the Castle and next steps


To Apply: referrals via DWP work coach or Employer Adviser.

Back to all events