Volunteers needed at Hardy’s Cottage and Clouds Hill

VOLUNTEERS are needed at two of the National Trust’s small but important properties, Lawrence of Arabia’s former home, Clouds Hill, near Wareham, and Hardy’s Cottage, near Dorchester.

There are different roles to suit different interests, from costumed interpretation and cooking demonstrations to reception duties and sharing the stories of the homes and their former owners with visitors. The National Trust team would be interested in hearing from anyone who can spare a few hours or days a month.

Both Hardy’s Cottage and Clouds Hill have proved very popular with volunteers and visitors alike, and more volunteer vacancies have arisen as a result of the National Trust opening their doors every day of the week between March to October.

Annette Joyce has been a volunteer room guide at Clouds Hill in 2016. She had moved to Dorset after taking early retirement, and wanted to keep busy and meet new people. She says: “I look forward to the days I am there as I always come away having had an enjoyable few hours sharing so many stories with visitors and fellow volunteers.”

Annette is proud to be playing a part in the nation’s heritage. She has caught the passion bug that all the volunteers seem to share: “I can’t believe I have the chance to spend time at Clouds Hill, listening to the same music that Lawrence of Arabia listened to, in the cottage he loved.”

At Hardy’s Cottage, Alban O’Brien enjoys helping people to get the most out of their visit: “Hardy’s Cottage has given me a great opportunity to meet people, share my enthusiasms and learn a lot from other members of the team.”

Potential volunteers are invited to drop in to Hardy’s Cottage or Clouds Hill any time between 11am and 3pm on Wednesday 17th January, and again at Clouds Hill on Saturday 3rd February. For more information go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Pictured: Volunteering in West Dorset © Tony Gill