Do you like meeting new people? Have you got a passion for history or archaeology? Would you love to support the Trust by providing inspiring services to engage visitors with the rich heritage and archaeology of York?


2015-collections-guide-146x300The JORVIK Group consists of the world famous JORVIK Viking CentreDIGBarley HallHenry VII at Micklegate Bar and Richard III at Monk Bar and offers a varied range of history and archaeology.

Our volunteers get involved across these attractions and are a vital part of the Trust; offering additional services and activities that would not be possible without their enthusiasm and dedicated involvement.

We welcome new volunteer involvement via set intake periods each year. These offer an opportunity to join the team in the company of other new volunteers as well as lots of training and support along the way.

Volunteer Roles

We have a varied range of roles available at the attractions. Most involve helping us to offer additional visitor facing services such as running handling collections, offering guiding services or helping us to offer family activities and information stands at events such as the annual JORVIK Viking Festival.

We also have a Costume Group who help behind the scenes to create a range of historical costumes.

The full range of attraction based roles our volunteers currently undertake are listed below. These are not all available at every intake so take a look during each intake period to see which roles we have available to apply for. If you would like information on any of these roles outside of an intake please feel free to email us on volunteer@yorkat.co.uk.

JORVIK Handling Collection Guides 

Barley Hall Room Guides

DIG Interpretation Assistants 

Richard III and Henry VII Room Guides

Costume Assistants

What Experience do I Need?

For many of our roles you do not need specific experience. Anything you need to know will be passed onto you as part of your training. The most important thing is that you are enthusiastic about your role and want to contribute your time to assist the Trust in enhancing our visitors’ experience and our services. If you are in a visitor facing role you will also need to enjoy talking to a wide range of people and be able to offer a bright, friendly welcome to all.

All you need is:

  • Enthusiasm for your chosen role and the work of the Trust
  • A desire to support our work and services.
  • To be able to offer friendly and engaging service (for our customer facing roles)
  • To be able to offer reliable involvement and let us know if you cannot attend your volunteering

In return we can help you:

  • Learn new skills and gain new experiences
  • Meet new people
  • Share a love of history or archaeology
  • Enjoy a fun way to be part of York’s heritage and the York Archaeological Trust
  • Gain insight into museum and heritage roles.


How Often Can I Volunteer?

Most of our volunteers get involved for one full or half-day once a week or fortnight. Full days are usually 10 am – 5.30pm and half-days are usually 10 am – 1.30pm or 1.00pm – 5.30 pm although in the winter months (November – March) they can finish earlier than 5.30 pm at some attractions. We suggest involvement for a minimum of approximately six months (other than for our temporary roles) so you can gain the most from your role but would be thrilled if you would like to stay on for longer. We particularly need your help during the school holidays so it is always a huge help if people are available for some of these periods.

What do I do if I Would Like to Apply to Volunteer?

Wait for an intake period and then click here to apply to volunteer with us. This link will take you the online system we use for applications.  If you would like a paper copy of the application form posted to you, need help with the form or you have any questions about volunteering please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please note, we ask anyone applying to volunteer with us to be available for the Welcome Day and Role Induction Day for the intake period they join in. These days offer a useful induction for all our new volunteers and are run so we can ensure we have offered you the information you need to start your volunteering.

Welcome Days and Role Induction Days are run at one of our city centre offices/attractions in York. If you would like to volunteer with us but cannot make the Welcome Day/Role Induction Day please speak to our Head of Volunteering so we can see how we can help.

What Happens if I Apply to Volunteer?

At the end of an intake period we will contact everyone to let them know if we can take their application forward. We will arrange to meet with anyone we may be able to offer a role to. At this meeting we will ask some questions to help us see what you are interested in and what roles we may be able to match you to. It is, of course, also an opportunity for you to find out more about us and our volunteer roles.  If you have any concerns about the meeting or need any support for the meeting please do not hesitate to let us know.

Following these meetings we will be able to let you know whether we can offer a place. If you would like to take up this offer then we will seek references for you and invite you to the Welcome Day and Role Induction Day. Please note that any offers of a place will just be pending the return of your references.

Can I Apply to Volunteer Outside of an Intake Period?

We regret that we are unable to accept applications outside of the intake periods. However, please do not hesitate to contact us on volunteer@yorkat.co.uk with any questions. A member of the Volunteer Management team will respond to you as soon as possible

Next Intake Period


Application Period – 21st December 2018 – 13th January 2019

Roles Available:


JORVIK Collections Up-Close Guides help us offer a unique opportunity for visitors to explore their location on the site of the dig which founded the JORVIK Viking Centre through artefact handling and viewing opportunities.  This is an ideal role for anyone wanting a taster experience of archaeological interpretation and engagement through finds.

Find out more: download the JORVIK Collections Up-close Guides role description here


JORVIK Viking Festival Information Hub Ambassadors (Temporary Role) get involved to help us run two city centre information hubs, both important parts of the Festival offering central points for visitor to find out more about the Festival, the events on offer, The JORVIK Group of attractions as well as top tips on York, from other places to visit to great places to eat. This is an ideal role for anyone who enjoys meeting a wide range of people and who would like to gain experience of events based customer service.

Find out more: download the JORVIK Viking Festival Information Hub Ambassadors role description here


JORVIK Viking Festival Craft Buddies (Temporary Role) get involved at our family crafts by choosing craft activities to assist with from the ever popular Poo Day (a play-dough activity) to the Viking textile crafts. This is a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys crafting and would like to get involved with our family, creative engagement at the Festival.

Find out more: download the Festival Craft Buddies role job description here


JORVIK Viking Festival DIG Family Assistants (Temporary Role) get involved at DIG, our hands-on archaeological adventure, to help visiting families explore the world of an archaeologist. DIG Family Assistants help us run a range of family engagement opportunities from the ever popular under fives Little Diggers sessions to artist colouring-in stations and exhibition engagement.

Find out more: download the JORVIK Viking Festival DIG Family Assistants role description role


JORVIK Viking Festival Event Stewards (Temporary Role) help to welcome visitors to a range of our events from book signings and talks to our demonstrations and living history re-enactments. Events Stewards offer an important point of contact for visitors to our events by offering welcome stands, assisting to process tickets and sales and helping to direct crowds at busy re-enactment events.  This is an ideal opportunity for anyone seeking events management experience or simply wanting to be a part of the Festival.

Find out more: download the JORVIK Viking Festival Event Stewards role description here


JORVIK Viking Festival Visitor Survey Assistants (Temporary Role) help our marketing team to capture visitor feedback to the Festival events and The JORVIK Group of attractions over our busy Festival period. By undertaking pre-written surveys with visitors our Visitor Survey Assistants help us to gain useful feedback on visitor trends and experiences which helps us to continue to develop our work and visitors’ experience.

Find out more: download the JORVIK Viking Festival Visitor Survey role description here


Barley Hall Room Guides get involved by assisting visitors to find out about the fascinating history of the Hall. Room Guides interpret and explain the objects, history and exhibitions in the Hall and form an important, personal link for visitors to this medieval townhouse.

Find out more: download the Barley Hall Room Guide role description here


Richard III & Henry VII Room Guides get involved to help us tell the story of the turbulent year of the Wars of the Roses and the reigns of these two medieval kings by offering Room Guiding at our medieval Bar Walls attractions.

Find out more: download the Richard III and Henry VII Room Guide role description here


Training Dates:

Welcome Day – Monday 4th February  10 am – 1pm or Wednesday 6th February 10 am – 1 pm

Role Induction Day JORVIK Collections Up-Close Guide – Monday 4th February 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm or Wednesday 13th February 10 am – 1 pm.

Role Induction Day All Viking Festival Roles – Wednesday 13th February 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm or 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm.

Role Induction Day Barley Hall Room Guides & Richard III/Henry VII Room Guides – Wednesday 6th February 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Apply Here

Privacy Statement

If you would like a paper copy of this sent to you please do not hesitate to contact us.


A copy of frequently asked questions can be downloaded here.

Contact Us

For Volunteer Enquiries:

You are welcome to contact us with any questions at volunteer@yorkat.co.uk.

You will be given a chance to read our Privacy Notice before applying to volunteer/undertake a placement with us.  You can also click here to read this.