Sue Carter

I applied after doing some volunteer work in a herbarium whilst on holiday in West Cork in 2017. Previously I didn’t even know what a herbarium was having spent my working life as a health visitor. Anyway, I really fell in love with the beautiful seaweed specimens I was working with in the herbarium in Ireland and when I came home I happened to be in the Whitworth gallery and saw a painting of a flower with an accompanying specimen  which was on loan from Manchester museum. When I looked at the website I was amazed to see that the herbarium wanted volunteers so I applied and started volunteering 1 day a week  – a lovely way to spend my Tuesdays.

I’ve learnt a lot about mounting plant specimens which is a very satisfying job.I’m currently photographing algae specimens and adding them to the data base (I’m not a whizz at computers so I ask for help quite a lot) All the volunteers are supervised by  Lindsey the assistant curator -she gives me a task and I can ask for her help if I’m stuck. There’s a really friendly atmosphere in the herbarium with a number of volunteers working there and I feel generally that the museum as a whole values the work of volunteers.

Volunteering at Manchester Museum

Volunteers are at the heart of creating enriching experiences for our visitors and enhancing the Museum’s work by contributing their time, enthusiasm and skills. Volunteers create opportunities to get up close to our collections, connect our programmes to diverse audiences and support the care and conservation of our collections. As we move towards our transformational hello future project, there will increased opportunities to get involved in exciting volunteer roles that will animate our new spaces and galleries.

If you are curious about being part of the museums volunteer team and would like to find out details of the next recruitment or further information; please get in touch at

  • Visitor Engagement

    Object handling is our most popular volunteer role in our gallery spaces. Collections are brought to life every day to inspire the curiosity of our visitors. We currently have six themed handling tables in our galleries: Living Worlds, Back to Nature, Fossils and hello future. In addition, we have our Live Animals experience and Nature Discovery handling table aimed at younger visitors.

  • Outreach

    The museum offers an extensive programme of events, activities and learning opportunities which enhance our current exhibitions and animate our collections. Volunteers are involved in facilitating a wide range of creative workshops and activities with all age groups. This can range from volunteering to support visiting schools or helping at family or adult events and festivals.

  • Behind the Scenes

    A small number of volunteers are involved behind the scenes working alongside staff. Roles include: labelling, cataloguing and assisting with projects relating to our collections.

Current opportunities

We’re partnered with some of the most prestigious cultural venues in Manchester.

  • Cracking Good Food Volunteer

      Cracking Good Food launched in 2010, with the aim of encouraging and supporting more people to cook affordable, seasonal and nutritious homemade food from scratch. Driven by our belief Read more…

  • Volunteer Befriender

      This role will directly help the widows and widowers who use The Widows Empowerment Trust for support in overcoming their bereavement. This role helps people who risk isolation and Read more…

  • Museum Volunteer

    Manchester Jewish Museum are recruiting for volunteers. Do you want to be part of a brand new museum opening? Do you want to help bring people together and share Jewish Read more…

  • Peer Support Facilitator

      Have you been Bereaved by Suicide? Do you have a desire to help other people who have also been Bereaved by Suicide? Are you comfortable listening to the experiences Read more…

  • Retail Stock Room Volunteer

      Here's a little bit more about us: The BHF is here to Beat Heartbreak Forever. We are working towards a world free from the fear of heart and circulatory Read more…

  • Voluntary Team Leader for volunteers

      The Widows Empowerment Trust is a charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation within the widowed community We feel that no one should have to grieve alone which Read more…

  • Volunteer Mentor

      At ReachOut, we believe that with the right support every young person can reach their full potential. ReachOut is a mentoring charity working with children in disadvantaged communities to Read more…

  • Dementia Group Volunteer

        Together Dementia Support is a Manchester charity supporting people to live positively with Dementia. Role Description The Group Volunteer is an assistant position. You will arrive 30mins approx Read more…

  • Reading Nature’s Library

    Help Manchester Museum discover the treasures in its collection and help us unlock this information and release our collection’s potential. This is an exciting opportunity to volunteer from home with Read more…