David Livingstone Birthplace

Volunteer and Skills Development Officer


The Volunteer and Skills Development Officer will be responsible for developing an engaging and sustainable volunteering programme, which will support the museum’s activities and organisational objectives and nurture and develop our volunteers.


The successful candidate will be responsible for developing a volunteer programme which engages our communities (including the community of Blantyre and African Diaspora communities in Scotland) with the multiple narratives of David Livingstone’s story. They will be responsible for the coordination of the volunteer team (initially through online engagement and following government guidelines around COVID-19), the management of university student placement and partnerships with traineeship providers. They will coordinate activities such as online and in-person engagement with our audiences, blogs, podcasts, learning activities, collections research and care, in collaboration with the relevant museum team member. They will be responsible for the recruitment and training of new volunteers as well as supporting the existing team of volunteers. The role will sit within and work closely with the Learning and Engagement team (made up of the Learning and Engagement Manager, the Learning Officer and the Community and Partnerships Officer) and with the wider DLB team to ensure that shared objectives are achieved.

We are looking for someone who is hands-on, prepared to work in a museum whose collection is multi-layered and complex and support the progressive outlook of the Birthplace team. The role is an exciting opportunity for someone who is motivated by the social and societal impact that museum engagement programmes can achieve and will be driven by a passion for sharing stories behind museum objects and histories. You will be someone who wants to make a difference to people’s lives through developing skills, employability, confidence and to support our communities. We are looking for someone who wants to work as part of a team to engage our audiences, including volunteers, trainees and student placements, to highlight unheard voices and stories and promote progress and change through action.


Initially home-based/Burgh Business Centre, Rutherglen then the David Livingstone Birthplace (DLB), in Blantyre


From Spring 2021 the David Livingstone Trust (DLT) will re-open the Birthplace following a three-year refurbishment project. We are now in the process of establishing a team to work towards the re-opening of the historic buildings, including the redesign of the exhibition and conservation of key pieces of its 3,000-plus Collection. This Project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish Government and Historic Environment Scotland. The project aims to support the regeneration of Blantyre and South Lanarkshire, and we will be working with a range of partners to achieve this.

This is an exciting time for the Trust; an opportunity for rebirth and re-establishing the ethos of the important historic site and furthering discussion around the life and values of David Livingstone. The Volunteer and Skills Development Officer will be responsible for developing an engaging and sustainable volunteering programme, which will support the museum’s activities and organisational objectives and nurture and develop our volunteers. As well as the volunteering programme, the role will also focus on skills development through traineeship opportunities with partners and university student placements. The role will be part of the Learning and Engagement team and will also be expected to work collaboratively with the wider museum team. The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of the histories and legacies surrounding David Livingstone’s story and will be expected to help promote the culture of progress and change the museum is aiming to achieve with this new stage of the project.


Responsible for the recruitment and retention of volunteers for the David Livingstone Birthplace.

  • Build and develop existing and new partnerships and relationships with volunteering and third sector organisations, universities, and traineeship providers.
  • Responsible for developing and leading the DLB volunteer and skills development programme (including training programme) in line with the museum’s activities.
  • Review and develop the volunteering and skills development policies and procedures.
  • To ensure that a regular series of volunteer events and communications are established and maintained.
  • Supervise, as needed, freelance staff, volunteers, student placements and trainees.
  • Support fundraising activities.
  • Support the David Livingstone Birthplace relaunch and ongoing sustainability of the site. As we are a small team the successful candidate will be expected to have a flexible and collaborative approach to their work.
  • Management of the Volunteer travel and training budget.

Other duties:

  • Responsible for the health and safety of yourself and others who you interact with and undertake appropriate health and safety reviews, risk assessments in relation to activities for volunteers and trainees,
  • Continuous Professional Development – you will be encouraged to seek opportunities for growth and development.
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check required.
  • Provide reports as required to Learning and Engagement Manager and Head of Development.
  • Any other duties as required by the DLB. There will be some evening and weekend working required around planned events and activities.



  • Experience of developing and delivering engaging museum volunteering and skills development opportunities, with a variety of community, third sector and education organisations, following standards of best practice.
  • Experience of working with diverse audiences and volunteers, trainees and student placements with diverse needs and interests.
  • Interest in and knowledge of the wider David Livingstone’s story and the role of Scotland in Britain’s colonial history.
  • Understanding of sensitive use of language and imagery.
  • Ability to take on feedback.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal) and ability to deal with a diverse range of people.
  • Excellent organisational, attention to detail and forward planning skills.
  • Experience of implementing organisational administrative policies and procedures.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.


  • Museums/Heritage/Third Sector qualification (for example an SVQ in Museums and Galleries Practice).


£23,500 pro rata p.a. (22.5 hours per week over three days).


We encourage applicants from all backgrounds, and welcome applications from those facing barriers to employment, people living with a disability, people from a BAME background and those who identify as LGBTQI+.

Applications for the role in the form of a CV and covering letter (by midnight Thursday 4th February 2021) should be sent to Elena Trimarchi, Learning and Engagement Manager at elena.trimarchi@dltrust.uk. Please note any immediate queries about the role should be emailed to Sandra Lowson at sandra@david-livingstone-birthplace.org.

Interviews will be held w/c 1st February.

References will be required for the successful candidate.

This role is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Download Full Job Description

A full job description and details can be download 2021-01-volunteer-and-skills-development-officer-r2.pdf (92 Kbytes) in PDF format.

Any questions regarding any of these positions should be e-mailed to Grant MacKenzie (grant.mackenzie@dltrust.uk).

Visit our Careers section for other current opportunities.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland