Volunteering at Westfield

Volunteering at Westfield


Would you like to be part of the Volunteer team at Westfield? The first step is to complete an application formThe screening process involves an interview and reference checks and an orientation to insure that there is a good fit and to introduce you to the Westfield experience.

Since the earliest years at Westfield, both staff and volunteers have worked hand in hand to build Westfield into the living history site that you see today. Westfield provides a wide range of volunteer experiences. Families, youth and seniors can engage in short or long term assignments.  You may be involved in historic interpretation, sewing support, building maintenance, research projects, gardening or a host of other tasks. Volunteers are welcomed and treated as valued and integral members of the organizations human resources team whether they are working directly with the visiting public or behind the scenes contributing to the general operations of the site.

Volunteers with over 40 hours to the program receive a 40 plus membership card. This card permits free or discounted entry to many other Ontario attractions, admission to Westfield when you are not volunteering and the opportunity to purchase a significantly discounted HCA parks pass.

Please note: The minimum age to volunteer at Westfield without a parent or guardian is 16.  Children under 16 are welcome to volunteer in our family volunteering program. Click here for more information on Family Volunteering.

More questions? Contact westnote@conservationhamilton.ca or call 519-621-8851.


Current Opportunities and Descriptions

Westfield is looking for volunteers in a variety of areas. Please click below for each position description.

Historic Interpreter Public Program - Reports to Program Coordinator


Major Objectives: Engage the public with an accurate representation of the historical period being represented as determined by the Program Coordinator

Major Responsibilities:
- Learn and deliver accurate interpretation and develop skills for effective communication and demonstrations with visitors from diverse backgrounds
- Arrive at site with time to costume; deliver materials to building, light fires as necessary.  Interpreters should be in place before village opens.
- Provide schedule of availability to scheduler.  When possible shifts should be scheduled no later than 72 hours prior to an event.
- Ensure the safety and security of all buildings, artifacts and personnel
- Provide interpretation a minimum of 9 public program days per calendar year
- Direct emergency situations or safety concerns to Westfield staff
- Wear PPE as required

Qualifications:
- Ability to communicate effectively with a range of visitors in different situations
- Historical knowledge is desirable however training materials will be provided
- Willingness to be photographed and work in appropriate costuming
- Personal transportation to the site is necessary

Training:
- Initial orientation session
- Review of Safe working procedures and available safety materials
- Initial shift (s) with an experienced interpreter
- Interpretation training
- Personal evaluation and feedback

Risk Assessment: Medium
- May involve working with fire, using sharp objects, exposure to weather, dust and other environmental conditions associated with historic buildings depending on placement
- Will involve continual independent contact with visiting public

Time/Place:
- Westfield site, minimum of 9 shifts per year, approximately 45 hours per year minimum
- Site is open Sunday, holiday Mondays and other dates.  This position requires the ability to participate on Sunday afternoons.
- Opportunities may exist to participate in community engagement outside of Westfield


Length of Commitment: Minimum one year commitment is required

Sewing Committee Member - Reports to Program Coordinator


Major Objectives: Repair, maintain and construct costuming for the Village collection

Major Responsibilities:
- Heming, ironing, laundry, replacing buttons
- Hand stitching and machine sewing
- Organize and maintain costume area
- Switch costuming over for seasons
- Research and learn authentic historic costuming

Qualifications:
- Basic sewing ability
- Attention to detail
- Interest in history is desirable

Training:
- Initial orientation session
- One on one with experienced volunteers
- Access to Westfield library and pattern collection

Risk Assessment: Low
- Indoor work in controlled situation
- Some use of machinery and sharp objects

Time/Place:
- Sewing committee meets Tuesday mornings from 9:30 to noon from March to December
- Some work may be completed at home
- Opportunities may exist to participate in community fashion shows outside of Westfield

Length of Commitment: Minimum one year commitment is required

Gardening Committee Member - Reports to Garden Committee Chair


Major Objectives: To plan and Maintain the Village gardens in keeping with the historic areas

Major Responsibilities:
- Attend 3 to 5 meetings annually to plan and discuss gardens
- Liaise with Chair regarding progress and requirements for garden
- Tend to assigned garden area on a regular basis
- Communicate watering requirements

Qualifications:
- Able to lift, shovel, bend, propel a wheel barrow
- Rudimentary garden knowledge is desirable
- Able to work independently

Training:
- Written resources are available
- Gardeners will receive guidance from the program coordinator regarding appropriate garden content
- Gardeners will be eligible to attend any training provided at Westfield

Time:
- Seasonal requirements as weather permits
- 3 hours per week, timing is flexible after initial Tuesday morning orientation

Risk Assessment: Medium
May involve working with sharp objects, will require lifting and repetitive motions

Length of Commitment Minimum commitment of one garden season is desirable

Parking Volunteer - Reports to Parking Supervisor


Major Objectives: Safely assist visitors to locate parking at Westfield on special event days

Major Responsibilities:
- Wear PPE as required, including high visibility vest, closed toe shoes, radio, directional wand, hat, sunscreen
- Direct emergency situations or safety concerns to Westfield staff
- Arrive one hour prior to program to receive assignment from parking supervisor and stay in position until supervisor determines position is no longer necessary
- Communicate with the public in a safe and respectful manner, providing good customer service

Qualifications:
- Ability to communicate effectively with a range of visitors with gestures and verbal communication
- Must be 16 years of age or over to volunteer without a parent
- Able to stand outside exposed to weather for extended periods
- Personal transportation to the site is necessary

Training:
- Overview of immediate working area and sign in procedures will be provided by parking supervisor or experienced volunteer
- Training on use of radio and parking procedures

Risk Assessment: Medium
- May work at a distance from other volunteers in the context of moving vehicles
- Exposure to a variety of weather condition depending on the time of year

Time/Place:
- Parking volunteers are required during Westfield special events (see website)
- Parking involves 4 to 6 hour shifts
- Parking volunteers are accepted on a long or short term basis.

Length of Commitment: Minimum one shift commitment is required, three to four shift per year commitment  is desirable