After a hectic Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, January can be a bit of a damp squib.  Yes there are resolutions to make, but how many of them even last into spring time? Well here’s a new challenge for a new year that should take you well past the first daffodils; the chance to make a difference at one of North Yorkshire’s finest historic estates.

Staff at the National Trust’s Beningbrough Hall are currently looking for willing volunteers to take on a number of roles from welcoming visitors and bringing alive the hall’s amazing history, to helping out in the shop, selling plants and second hand books or even showing round school parties. 

Ken Thompson, a volunteer in the hall for ten years said, “I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from volunteering. The main reason is I get to meet and have conversations with a wide range of people of all ages. It’s important to me to belong to a large team who work together and support each other; and the setting and ambience is spectacular.”

Then there are the hall’s renowned gardens which are always in need of more green-fingered helpers and if you fancy spending weekends here the gardening staff would be only too glad to have a chat.

Judith Evans said, “I started volunteering in the gardens last year and enjoyed it so much that I am now also working in the hall. Volunteering here offers the opportunity to meet lovely people, carry out worthwhile and varied work in a truly beautiful setting, and to pick up new skills on the way. I would – and frequently do! – highly recommend it.” 

Other opportunities might come as a surprise, as volunteer manager Sue Jordan says, “One area we need more help is with social media and if that is something you enjoy, our marketing team would love to hear from you,” says Sue. “For other roles no qualifications are necessary, apart from the willingness to communicate with people.”

It’s not all work though. Sue says her volunteers enjoy an active social programme and what better way to make new friends. “There’s a variety of opportunities to suit all skills, both indoors and outside,” says Sue. “We’d love to meet you to and explain what volunteering at Beningbrough is like, so if you’ve ever wondered if volunteering is for you why not pop along to meet the team and find out more.”

•         Recruitment open days will be held at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens on Tuesday 9 January, 10am – 2pm and Saturday 13 January, 9am – 11am. For more information call 01904 472027 or visit

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