Volunteering At Discover DeCrypt

Discover DeCrypt is a community project. Our volunteers are valued members of the team. We hope that everybody volunteering with us enjoys the experience; we certainly enjoy working with them. Together we share our skills, enthusiasm and passion for these beautiful buildings and their place both in the history of Gloucester and in todays community.

See What Volunteering At Discover DeCrypt Looks Like

Volunteering FAQs

Volunteering is for Everyone! Our friendly team welcomes new volunteers from all backgrounds. Anybody aged 18 and over is welcome. If you are under 18, you will need the consent of a parent or guardian

Many of our volunteers act as guides and welcomers, receiving visitors to the buildings, but we have other opportunities too. For example:

  • Photography
  • Historical research
  • Market research and publicity
  • Stewarding at events
  • Family activities and workshops
  • Blogging
  • Gardening

See our role descriptions for more information

We are flexible about hours. Some volunteers are able to commit to a regular morning or afternoon once a week, others come in once a month, or just occasionally. We are open at weekends and many events take place in the evenings, so there will be a slot for you, whatever your schedule.

We try to make sure that volunteering with us is a positive, fulfilling experience. People come to volunteering for different reasons. Whatever your reason is, tell us about it and well try to provide what you are looking for. Here are a few reasons volunteers join us:

  • to share a passion for history and heritage
  • to meet people
  • to make new friends
  • to share skills
  • to give something to the community
  • to get work experience
  • to do something useful
  • to learn new skills
  • to have fun

What Role Can I Do For Discover DeCrypt

We are looking for friendly volunteers with good interpersonal skills to welcome visitors to the buildings during opening hours from Wednesday to Sunday inclusive. We are proud of the reputation we have for making every visitor feel warmly welcomed and this is due to the work of our volunteers who manage the welcome desk during opening hours. Those interested in history and heritage have the opportunity to train with the Civic Trust to become guides and we have plenty of material available to fill you in on the background of these fascinating historic buildings.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for people with a friendly, positive attitude, an interest in meeting and engaging with new people and willing to work in a team. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and have a range of experience and skills. Enthusiasm is important, as is a sense of humour!

What Does This Look Like

This is a volunteering post with flexible hours/dates. If you are able to commit to a regular day or time, that is welcomed, but we are equally happy to have volunteers who come for an occasional day or just in the summer holidays. Full training and support will be provided by our friendly team. All volunteers are required to take our safeguarding training and those volunteers planning to work with children or vulnerable adults must complete a DBS, which Discover DeCrypt will organise at no cost to the volunteer. We can accept volunteers aged 16-18 with written permission from a parent/guardian. If you are under the age of 16 and want to volunteer, please contact us to discuss.

We like to keep our website and social media posts up to date. We are looking for a creative volunteer to take video and still photographs at events and during everyday operation. Free tickets will be available to some events. There may also be the opportunity to contribute to a regular blog/vlog about the buildings and the activities that take place here.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a volunteer with experience in video production/photography and access to appropriate good quality equipment. Interest in heritage and/or PR would be a bonus. Good communication skills and a friendly manner are desirable.

What Does This Look Like?

This is a volunteering post and is a great opportunity to gain work experience or use for a student project. We offer a friendly work environment and mentoring throughout the project.

Discover DeCrypt runs a Historical Research Group to explore and gather information about the buildings and the people associated with them. The group has mounted three exhibitions to date and is currently engaged in compiling material for the new guide book. There is funding to cover expenses and for the production of a series of booklets, the first of which has already been published. We are looking for enthusiastic adults or young people to join the group. Meetings are held on average every two months with communication via email in the interim.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for dedicated volunteers with a real interest in history, investigation and sharing their findings with others. Good communication skills and at least a basic understanding of the research process would be helpful.

What Does This Look Like?

This is a volunteering post with flexible hours/dates. Mentoring and support will be provided by another member of the Group. Training in use of the Gloucestershire Archives will be given as necessary. We can accept volunteers aged 16-18 with written permission from a parent/guardian.

We run a busy program of events and activities, which need to be publicised locally and via social media. At the same time we promote the facilities to local businesses, charities and organisations. We are always in need of those willing to update our market research and help us to find out more about the people interested in using the buildings.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for committed and self-motivated volunteers with good communication skills, familiarity with IT and social media and, ideally, some local knowledge of Gloucester. They will have initiative and a positive attitude to problem-solving. Graphic design skills would be helpful. Market research will be mainly desk-based but may include some visits to venues, telephone or in-person interviews and photography.

What Does This Look Like?

This is a volunteering post with flexible hours/dates. Support and mentoring will be given by the Community, Arts and Events Manager, but research may also be undertaken independently by the volunteer. Those volunteers planning to work with children or vulnerable adults must complete a DBS, which Discover DeCrypt will organise at no cost to the volunteer. We can accept volunteers aged 16-18 with written permission from a parent/guardian.

We run regular activities for families during the school holidays and at other times. These include arts activities in our Creative Crafty Workshops, storytelling and seasonal activities such as the Easter Trail and Christmas events. Volunteers are always needed to help deliver activities and bring their own experience and interests to enrich these events.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a volunteer with enthusiasm, energy and good humour. A friendly personality with the patience and kindness to work with children and their parents is required. Experience of working with families would be useful. A willingness to get messy is helpful too!

What Does This Look Like?

Most events and activities take place on week days in the morning or afternoon, often during school holidays. Volunteers may be required to complete a DBS application which will be conducted by Discover DeCrypt at no expense to the volunteer.

The churchyard is no longer in use for burials and is in the care of Gloucester City Council. However, Discover DeCrypt is leading a group of volunteers and local residents to keep this beautiful green space in the city centre tidy and well-maintained. The Council is committed to providing support with litter-picking, removal of rubbish and annual clearing. We are in the process of developing a plan for restoring the planting scheme and introducing accessible beds and a children’s corner. In the meantime there is plenty of weeding and general gardening to be done!

What are we looking for?

We are looking for volunteers who enjoy outdoor work and are willing to get their hands dirty. Some knowledge of gardening is helpful but not essential. There is the option to apply for funding to support this community project, so if you have any experience of fundraising, that would be a bonus.

What Does This Look Like?

We meet to garden together on the first weekend of each month, but the churchyard is always accessible, so volunteers can garden at other times as well if they wish. A few tools are available, but it is helpful if you are able to bring your own. Gloves are essential as there is broken glass and other litter in the churchyard and care must be taken when gardening.

Do Your Duke Of Edinburgh Award At Discover DeCrypt

If you are doing a Duke of Edinburgh Award, Arts Award or looking for work experience, contact us to find out what we can offer.

Hear Some Testimonies From Our Current Volunteers

Volunteering at de Crypt is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I have done in a long time. The situation in the heart of the city means that it attracts all manner of people. For those that find themselves in difficult times, the place offers a welcome, a shelter from the outside elements, a cup of coffee and a biscuit along with a sympathetic ear. No judgements here! For the visitor to the city there is much to see and learn about and for our American visitors, in particular, it is almost a place of pilgrimage. It is a real joy to see countless visitors from the USA standing in the pulpit that George Whitefield preached from as they mimic his favourite pose and recite a few words from his book of sermons. For students of English history, the church is at the centre point of some of the major events in our past. The Roman Colonia was built around the site, our very own Roman altarpiece was discovered near the entrance door and we are just a stone’s throw from the statue to the Emperor Nerva who founded the Colonia. In the English Civil War, the church was a gunpowder factory and if you look at the North wall of the church you can see the bullet and shrapnel marks that are testament to the fierce nature of the famous Siege of Gloucester. We also have the Crypt School, founded by the Cookes which has been very beautifully restored, and we have the burial place of Robert Raikes who did so much to promote the Sunday School movement and prison reform. These are just a few examples of the churchs history so if your appetite for more is whetted by my comments and your curiosity has been awakened, then do not hesitate. Please come and join us. We are a friendly unpretentious bunch and your assistance and contribution in any capacity you like, would be most welcome. The coffee is good, the sense of belonging is ever present and the church brasses always need a polish!

The sunlight filtered in lazy beams through the south transept window, highlighting a dusty patch on the floor by the font. A woman entered, nodded, and wandered. She sat in the choir. When she was ready, she smiled. She was a captain in the army, recovering from injuries sustained in an IED attack. She felt fortunate to be alive. I felt privileged to have met her.

“Ive been a volunteer (one morning or afternoon a week) with Discover DeCrypt for nearly 3 years now. I volunteer at two or three venues across the city and this is the one I most look forward to coming along to.

The staff and other volunteers are a delight to work with, but of course it is the visitors who make the role so rewarding and varied.

Every time is different, you never know who may come through the door a local just popping in for ten minutes of their lunch break / UK visitors on a Gloucester day trip / travellers from anywhere across the globe, plus also the many regular groups and workshops who use our facilities and hospitality.

Being able to give these people just a little snippet of knowledge or help with their queries and needs is most satisfying and highly recommended.”

I am thankfully reaching the end of a career in financial services, now working part time, and decided to devote some time doing something completely different. By chance I visited St Mary de Crypt late last year. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the building, inside and outside, and by its fascinating architecture and history. As much also by the friendliness of the people working there that day.

I enquired into volunteering, and soon after had a lovely chat over coffee with two of the organising staff. Since then I have done a variety of tasks – clearing the grounds, greeting visitors, administrative work and any odd jobasked of me. I hope to do some brass polishing some time!

Early days for me. There are a host of different activities going on here, so lots of potential things to do.

More than anything, I really enjoy being with such welcoming and knowledgeable people. There is a rota, and I get to meet different people most weeks, for now. 

Its a nice place to be. Unless you are needed for specific work, you can choose what you would like to do for the benefit of this lovely Gloucester attraction and place of worship.

“I have really enjoyed volunteering at De Crypt for the past 6(?) years.   We are a friendly bunch of people, always ready to help and pass on our knowledge.   I have met so many people from all over the world as well as local residents, whose typical comment is I have lived in Gloucester for 40 years and I have never been in here before!   I have learnt so much of our local history and people who lived, worshipped and are buried here.    In particular I have enjoyed giving Americans a tour of the church.   They come to De Crypt because of the George Whitefield connection and I often say they know more about him than the people living in the city of his birth!   

If you have an interest in history, architecture or gardening or simply want to join a friendly group of people to greet visitors, do come and join us.   You will find a warm welcome here.”

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