#VolunteersWeek – introducing Shirley

Shirley has been a
volunteer since the re-opening of the museum. “I had moved to London and stopped work, and was looking for something to
do. You’ve got to do something in life.”

Before retiring Shirley worked as
a GP. “I find the most interesting thing
about being here is the people you meet, the people you work with and the
customers. People from all different walks of life come here to volunteer and
we’ve become good friends. The staff and volunteers are always friendly, we’re
very fortunate. The visitors come from all over the world, they’re usually quite interesting
people who have bothered to come to a museum.”

Shirley’s favourite thing about volunteering is meeting different sorts of
people who visit. She regularly gives talks to visiting groups, giving
a background of the museum. “I enjoy
showing off the museum; I’m proud of it. But ultimately it’s the group of
people you meet doing it that I really enjoy.”

Shirley’s favourite object is the Italian Ark. “Before volunteering I was looking for an interesting design for an
embroidery and found the Ark. I copied the beautiful design of the carved
leaves [see detail below].”


Shirley feels she has learnt new skills since volunteering. “I know how to use the till now and about retail too. I didn’t have much experience before. I’ve also learnt things about Jewish culture and experience that I didn’t know about.”

Shirley’s top tip for volunteering is,
It’s a job, same as everything else. You have a responsibility. If you’re
going to do it – do it.”

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