Contact Us
Skills & Confidence
Click here to go to the Strategy Hub

Supporting Older People Who Volunteer in the Museum and Heritage Sector

A symposium to share experiences and consider best practice.

Event information

Date: 28 February, 2024

Time: 09:30 – 16:00

Organiser: Glasgow Life Museums

Venue: The Burrell Collection, Glasgow

Volunteering is a way for retirement-age adults to be a part of a community, to make new friendships with like-minded people, and to give back to organisations that resonate with their values and interests.

Older adults bring a wealth of skills and life experience to the heritage sector. They have unique links to sites, objects and gallery stories. A diverse volunteer group in a museum can help attract a local audience and older adults can be excellent mentors to newer volunteers.

Museum and heritage volunteers often dedicate years of their lives volunteering, building up a plethora of knowledge and facilitating a vibrant social and informative share with fellow volunteers and many visitors. They build relationships with visitors and staff and are a valued part of any museum. Many museums are volunteer-run and depend on regular, skilled volunteer input to operate.

As our volunteers age with the museum, what can we do to support them? What challenges do they face? If a health or wellbeing issue creates a barrier to volunteering, what accommodations can we make within the heritage and museum sector?

If you work with or support older adults to volunteer, or would like to find out more, join Glasgow Life Museums for a symposium with museum volunteering managers, health sector professionals, colleagues from museums development organisations and older volunteers themselves to discuss strategies and best practice in the sector for supporting older age volunteers.

Programme for the day: 9:30am – 4pm (lunch provided)

Morning session:

  • Welcome and Introduction: Yla Barrie, Volunteer and Placement Coordinator, Glasgow Museums.
  • The contribution of older volunteers to the museums sector: Tamsin Russell, Workforce Development Officer, Museums Association.
  • Research overview: The Impact on Older People’s Wellbeing of Leaving Heritage Volunteering and the Challenges of Managing this Process Bruce Davenport, Newcastle University.
  • Volunteering after retirement age, an insight from museum volunteers.

Afternoon session:

  • A facilitated session addressing the 3 key areas as decided by symposium attendees.

Sign up

If you would like to attend this FREE symposium, please email to reserve a space.