Every year hundreds of people volunteer with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, getting involved with all sorts of activities including welcoming visitors to our venues, cataloguing collections in our stores, assisting at special events and even helping with the maintenance and running of trains at Stephenson Railway Museum.

We offer full time, part time, long term and short term placements including some student placements.

Some of the benefits of volunteering include:

  • Strengthening your CV - many of our volunteers have found that they have learnt skills and grown in confidence, helping them to gain employment.
  • Making new friends - you'll have the chance to meet like-minded people during your placement.
  • Staff discount - all our volunteers receive a discount in our shops and cafes.

We also cover transport costs during volunteer placements.

Current volunteering opportunities

Our current volunteering opportunities are now fully placed, however we have several new roles that will be available over the coming weeks and months. To find out more, come along to our next recruitment fair on Friday 9th October. Staff from the Volunteering Department are hosting the fair at Discovery Museum, which will give prospective volunteers the chance to speak to staff from a wide range of departments about the different roles they can offer. Some examples of upcoming roles include:

  • Helping our learning teams with their busy school programmes
  • Assisting with the running of large scale events in our venues
  • Working behind the scenes with curators on documentation tasks
  • Helping to promote our venues by creating social media content.

Drop in any time between 1-4pm. For more information about the fair please contact volunteering@twmuseums.org.uk.

Other opportunites


L-INK is for you if you are 15-21 years old, interested in the arts, curious about what goes on inside a gallery, or just want to meet new people. You should be energetic, enthusiastic, positive, friendly and willing to commit to one Sunday afternoon a month.

L-INK is a popular programme; places are limited and in high demand. Because of this, joining L-INK is via application only.

If you are unsuccessful in your application this time we will, with your permission, keep your contact details on record and place you on to a reserve list. We will also inform you of any other opportunities that may arise. Although this is a competitive process, it is inclusive and open to all.

Participants last year said:

"Such a good time! It has been super fun meeting new people and doing art together."

"I found the project really interesting and challenging because we were reacting and responding to works which were quite old. It encouraged us to engage more profoundly with the pieces rather than simply viewing them."

"I enjoyed going to galleries and museums and seeing the exhibits and it inspired me creatively. It also gave me further insight into the current art industry."

Find out more about L-INK and how you can apply here.

Culture Track volunteer

Culture Track helps people aged 16-25 who are out of employment, education or training through a volunteering experience with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

Applicants take part in a number of sessions that explore their interests and then are matched with a suitable volunteering placement. You will be supported throughout the placement and will gain a range of transferable skills together with relevant qualifications.

Culture Track is as flexible as you need it to be. Any travel expenses will be paid and volunteering will not affect any benefits you receive.

If you are interested in Culture Track, or would just like to know more, get in touch with Alex Whelan on (0191) 277 2153 or email alex.whelan@twmuseums.org.uk.


WallQuest is a community archaeology project to find out about the easternmost 30 miles of Hadrian’s Wall between South Shields and Hexham / Corbridge. In this area the wall is often invisible but many local people are proud of it and fascinated by it.

Get involved in research and excavation in various different places along the wall - absolutely anybody can join in. Find out more.

Stephenson Railway Museum

There are a wide range of volunteering opportunities available at Stephenson Railway Museum in North Tyneside, covering virtually every aspect of the railway’s activities. Whilst some roles require a significant time commitment, others do not. If you want to get your hands dirty, there are plenty of opportunities, but if manual work is not for you, there are other options.

Working groups are usually held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9.30am to 3pm with train operations and running days on Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to November.

For an informal chat about volunteering at Stephenson Railway Museum please call the museum on (0191) 200 7146 and ask for Robin.

Marsh Trust Award Winners

The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust recently announced the winners of their Volunteer Awards in September, which celebrate the work and achievements of museum volunteers. Each regional winner receives a prize of £500.

Staff in the volunteering department at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums were delighted to discover that two of our volunteers, Joan Milne and Fiona Southern, won the award for the North East region. Joan and Fiona were nominated for their fantastic work in the costume stores at Discovery Museum, in improving the storage, conservation and documentation of the collection, supporting the development of exhibitions where costume is included, and delivering tours of the stores for adult learning groups. You can see them hard at work in the picture at the top of this page!

On the 28th September, staff from the volunteering department travelled to London to the British Museum for the award presentation. This was a perfect opportunity to congratulate Joan and Fiona and to celebrate the amazing work carried out by volunteers across the UK.

Joanna Mackle, Deputy Director of the British Museum said “Museums large and small are reliant on the contribution volunteers make to ensure the smooth and successful running of their organisation. The Marsh Awards recognise the vital work that volunteers do in museums across the country and we are very grateful to the Marsh Christian Trust for acknowledging this work.”