Andrew Hirst, a forensic science student at Kendal College, started his volunteer journey with Helping Hands through volunteering at the Quaker Tapestry Museum; an experience that opened his eyes to a world of unexpected opportunities and meaningful contributions. In this case study, we explore the tasks he undertook, the skills he acquired, and the impact his work had on the museum’s efforts.
Experiences beyond Forensic Science:
Seeking work experience for his second year at Kendal College, Andrew found himself at the Quaker Tapestry Museum—a place that initially seemed worlds apart from forensic science. Intrigued by the chance to explore different denominations of Christianity and find out more about the unique practices of the Quakers, Andrew embraced the opportunity to contribute to a cause beyond his academic study.
Andrew’s role at the museum proved to be purposeful. His primary tasks included market research and redesigning the museum’s outdated room hire leaflet. Andrew found himself really engaged in tasks that directly impacted the museum’s operations, dispelling any apprehensions about the perceived monotony of volunteer work.
Despite initial reservations, Andrew discovered the depth and relevance of the work he was doing with market research. The experience broadened his horizons, proving that volunteering isn’t just about completing menial tasks but contributing valuable insights that matter to the organisation.
Having an Impact
The realisation that his efforts could make a tangible difference to the struggling room hire income of the museum during the pandemic was important for Andrew. Designing a new leaflet meant more than just a creative desk-based task but rather a contribution to the museum’s recovery and sustainability.
Reflecting on his volunteering experience, Andrew recognised that lending a hand can have significant influence on an organisation, especially during challenging times. The Quaker Tapestry Museum became a classroom where he learned not only about the Quaker faith but also about the resilience and importance of community support.
Embracing the Future
Andrew’s journey at the museum has left a lasting impression on his perspective towards volunteering. Expressing an appreciation for the variety of tasks he undertook whilst at Quaker Tapestry Museum, he has pledged to continue volunteering in the future. His advice to others, especially to other young people, resonates with encouragement: Just do it. Embrace the unknown, step out of your comfort zone, and unlock the wealth of experiences and skills that volunteering can offer.
Andrew’s experience at the Quaker Tapestry Museum is a great example of the transformative power of volunteering. Beyond his forensic science studies, Andrew discovered a world of learning, contribution, and personal growth.