Volunteers are at the heart of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. When visitors come to the House, almost everyone they meet will be a volunteer, whether it’s in the House itself or in our garden. Without this award-winning team, we would not be able to open our doors to the general public.

We’re always recruiting new volunteers. We believe in giving everyone a chance to volunteer with us. Our volunteers come from all different backgrounds and age groups, and they all want different things from volunteering. For some, it’s a chance to gain experience working in heritage; for others, it’s a chance to make new friends. Whatever your reason for volunteering, you don’t need any experience. All we ask is that you’re enthusiastic and willing to learn. Please note, we are not currently able to accept applications from people under the age of 16. 

What do our volunteers do?

Our volunteers support the House by working in various roles in the House. Most of our volunteers come in on our open days, which are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. They work on our welcome desk, in our tearoom and giftshop, or as a room steward. Some of them also help with events, weddings, tours, and some behind-the-scenes work. 

What will you gain from volunteering?

  • Flexibility – volunteer as often or as little as you like
  • Full training for each role including how to use our ticket system, speaking to members of the public, using the till / card machine
  • Extra training opportunities, such as conservation cleaning, volunteer-led talks, and trips to heritage sites
  • Help with events, tours and weddings
  • Travel reimbursements of up to £5 per day

We’re also happy to make adjustments and accommodations for volunteers where necessary, so please don’t hesitate to ask!

You can find out more about what it’s like to volunteer with us here.

Current volunteering opportunities

At the moment, we are recruiting volunteers to support us in the following roles:

Welcome Desk

Welcoming visitors to the House, checking or selling tickets, and answering queries. This role is Sundays only.


Serving drinks and food in our tearoom and selling items from our gift shop. This role is Sundays only.


A gardening volunteer leaning over a flower bed.

Working in our award-winning garden, helping with general maintenance and keeping up appearances in the Garden, with tasks such as leaf sweeping, litter picking and weeding. This role is most suited to people comfortable digging, kneeling, and occasionally lifting heavy things. No gardening experience is necessary and we can discuss any accommodations you might need for this role. If you would like to volunteer in the garden, please tell us when filling out the application form. This role is Wednesday mornings only.

Wedding support

Supporting our wedding coordinator during weddings. This involves helping with wedding set up and break down, welcoming wedding guests to the House and answering their questions, and serving drinks at the drinks reception and bar. This role requires tearoom training as well as learning about the history of the House. If you’re interested in helping with weddings, please tell us when filling out the application form. Weddings take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with exact times varying.

Please note: at the moment we are not recruiting volunteers to help with any other roles or open days apart from the ones listed above. We also are not recruiting volunteers for behind-the-scenes roles, such as cataloguing. 

How can I apply?

Simply fill out the form below and one of the team will be in touch with you as soon as possible to invite you to a group induction session at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. These sessions run once a month throughout the year on either Wednesdays or Thursdays, so if you can’t make one there will be others!

If you would like to volunteer to join our gardening team or to help with weddings, please let us know when filling out the form.

If you would like to apply another way, or have any questions about volunteering, please email katy@elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk  or phone us on 0161 273 2215.


New cooks always want their own peculiar little odds & ends for cookery

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863