The Art of Volunteering

The Art of Volunteering exhibition was launched on National Volunteers Week in May 2018. 15 of our volunteers took over the Collections Centre with a project which explores the breadth of the Whitworth’s collections, of over 60,000 works.

The exhibition gave a personal insight into volunteering, its benefits of wellbeing and the influence it has had on their own art.

The volunteers have come from all backgrounds and diversities from across the city. Many of them have volunteered at the gallery since our re-opening in 2015 and others just the last 6 months – joining from placements through Streetwise Opera, The Growth Company and individuals just looking for company, acceptance, the chance to share their passions with others and meet new people, sometimes as new arrivals to our city.

Other volunteers contributed their time in helping upholster furniture for the exhibition, creating their own artwork and giving time to one another which in turn really made a difference to everyone no matter their background or why they volunteered.

The volunteers were finalists in the category of Creativity in the Community at Manchester’s Be Proud Awards 2018.

“I feel I have a place and purpose that connects me to the outside world. Volunteering gives me a great deal of pleasure and I feel I can find a way to contribute to society in a positive way, which also influences my creativity so it’s a continuing cycle. The Whitworth has been a very influential part of my life as an artist and my love for this gallery grows every time I step into the grounds.”
Julie, the Whitworth Volunteer for The Art of Volunteering

“Volunteering at the Whitworth has made me a lot happier, given me purpose. I feel like a part of society once more, and making a positive difference in other people’s lives”

GROW Volunteer • the Whitworth Volunteer

Volunteering at the Whitworth

Volunteers are at the heart of the Whitworth. We engage over 250 a year in around 12 different roles from conversation to family workshops and gardening to wellbeing events.

We have volunteers who contribute across the whole of the gallery. From supporting artists, textile care, gardening, digitising our collection, cataloguing our library, assisting in the delivery of workshops to large-scale events and much more.

  • Support and Learn

    Support the production of events from the planning to the delivery and to engage directly with staff, guests and visitors to the Whitworth.

  • Collection and Care

    Learning from our conservation team you will be preparing storage rollers, re-rolling textiles, unpicking stitching and taking care of our vast textile collection.

  • Family volunteering

    Come and volunteer as a family. Whether with your babies and toddlers or teenagers and grandparents, we offer fun opportunities to volunteer with your whole family.

Current opportunities

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

  • 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…

  • 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…