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Volunteer opportunity description

Remember the extraordinary installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was shown at the Tower of London in 2014?

Well after touring the UK some of those poppies, the sculpture known as ‘Wave and Weeping Window' (a cascade and wave comprising of several thousand handmade ceramic poppies) by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper is now coming back home to the Imperial War Museum.

We are looking for two teams of enthusiastic volunteers who enjoy meeting new people, are impassioned by IWM’s many connected stories and are keen to help us deliver an exceptional customer service whilst the artwork is on display at IWM.

This is a totally unique opportunity to be a part of a very special event at Imperial War Museums North and London. This role may best suit those who wish to build on their interpersonal and communication skills. The role includes welcoming and supporting customers on their visit and encouraging them to find out more about the ceramic poppies,  ‘Wave and Weeping Window’ and IWM’s collections.

You will be given all relevant training, guidance and supervision.

Responsibilities and Duties

We are expecting it to be a busy and exciting time at IWM when both the ‘Weeping Window’ and ‘Wave are on public display. We would like to recruit a team of volunteers to help us provide an exceptional frontline customer experience during this time, welcoming, informing and engaging with the public whilst they are on site.

  • Welcome visitors to site and be a positive ambassador for IWM
  • Engage visitors about the artwork and the journey it has taken on the Poppy Tour  Handout family trail leaflet and reflection cards 
  • Host Poppy handling sessions
  • Help to provide an excellent customer experience
  • To work in accordance with Health and Safety guidelines and comply with relevant risk assessments

Additional Information:

You will be provided a branded IWM red polo shirt and a red fleece for your volunteering. Cold weather gear will also be provided as appropriate.

1.1. Expenses & Vetting statement

Upon offer all volunteers are required to complete and clear a basic disclosure. Volunteers are offered £10 per shift towards travel expenses (in London). This is for incurred expenses only and will be reimbursed on completion of an expense form and receipts. (Conditions apply –full information will be provided upon an offer)

1.2. Diversity/Inclusion statement

We encourage and celebrate difference in thought, background, people, skills, languages, culture and opportunities of our all IWM people including paid staff and volunteers and the unique perspectives they bring to the organisation.


Who are we looking for?

We are seeking up to 30 volunteers at IWM London who are passionate bringing IWM’s many connected stories to life and who thrive on meeting and talking with new people.

You will need to be aged 18 or over to take part in this role. We are especially keen to hear from those who speak other languages fluently and have visited previous Poppy sculptures and/or own a ceramic poppy yourself.

  • Able to communicate confidently in English
  • Be a positive ambassador of our values approaching customers
  • Take a proactive approach with customers
  • Keenness to learn and develop new skills and knowledge
  • Able to appreciate and deliver excellent customer service Interest in IWM’s subject and mission
  • Be impartial and encourage open discussions 
  • Speak other languages fluently
  • Knowledgeable of the local area 
  • Experience in delivering interpretive experiences

Your availability

Ideally we are seeking volunteers who are available one day per week to volunteer in London between 6 October – 18 November 

We are seeking your regular commitment to make the most out of this role and the training provided you and to give you time enough to put your training into action. Where possible we would like you to sign up for a typical day to volunteer on so you can build up your connections with your team members. Recommended volunteer hours are 10.30-– 5pm and include a morning/afternoon briefing.

Training & Selection

Applicants will be asked to attend ONE selection day and ONE Branch induction day on one of the following days at your chosen Branch: (You will be asked to clarify which in your application)

IWM London Selection Day • 20, 21 July

IWM London Branch Induction • 4,8,15 September

Role Based Training Day • 23, 25, 26 September • 3, 4, 5 October

Our volunteer needs

We need volunteers who are free at these times


Volunteer opportunity location(s)

About the organisation

Imperial War Museums

Karen Gurney
Volunteer Programme Manager
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