#VolunteersWeek – Introducing Nita

Nita was runner up in the Going The Extra Mile award for volunteers across the heritage sector who have gone the extra mile, as the London Volunteers in Museum Awards in 2012.

Nita has volunteered
since the museum re-opening in 2010. She decided to start volunteering after
she retired from teaching. “It’s the worst
thing I ever did, retiring! I enjoy being with people and doing things. I can’t
think of anything worse than having nothing to do.”

Nita regularly gives talks and tours to visitors. “If you do something voluntarily, you do it as an interest, instead of
having to do it.” 

Her favourite aspect of volunteering is meeting people, “I have a gift of the gab and enjoy being with people. I love history, I research lots of things at home, like Nina Salaman, Disraeli or the history of Jews in England. Most of it is in my memory now and I can talk about it to visitors.”


Nita has always loved explaining history. “As
a teacher when I took children on holiday I did guided tours instead of the
official tour guide! I look forward to it here. The atmosphere is special and I
like giving talks. When you take time
to explain things to people you get a good response – nobody says, ‘No thanks, I don’t want anything explained.’”

Her favourite object is the Venetian Ark in the Judaism Gallery. “It’s a
beautiful and interesting object. I once met the people who owned the castle
where it was found when they came to visit it at the museum.”

Top tips for being a volunteer: “You’ve got to be friendly but not pushy. If you’re going to talk to people, learn as
much as you can. I’ve never stopped learning. Got my passion for learning from
my grandmother who took an economic degree while running a restaurant. 

learnt a lot volunteering, I’ve spoken to Disraeli’s family and learnt things
about him I didn’t have in my file.”

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