A student who started as a volunteer at Kelmarsh Hall has now taken on a part-time role which will complement her studies.
Louisa Scotney is studying for a Masters in Heritage Management at the University of Birmingham. While visiting Kelmarsh Hall for the Christmas Fair, she learnt about the volunteering opportunities that are available and signed up. She soon became a valued member of the volunteers’ team, helping out with archiving, whipping in during Hall tours and providing support during school visits.
After impressing staff with her enthusiasm, Louisa was offered a paid position earlier this year as Visitor Services Assistant. She now spends two days a week supporting visitor openings and schools visits while assisting with other tasks to ensure the smooth running of the visitor experience.
Louisa’s career path started when she completed a degree in history at the University of Northampton. To develop her practical experience alongside her studies, she worked for a spell for English Heritage at Apethorpe Hall, which triggered her passion for historic properties.
“Working at Kelmarsh Hall has made me realise I would like to pursue a career in the visitor experience of historic houses,” said Louisa. “I enjoy sharing something I’m interested in with others who are also interested in the subject. Being here has really helped to develop my confidence – I feel much more comfortable now when I’m dealing with group visits. I also enjoy hearing what people think about their visit and what we could do to improve.”
Louisa is basing her dissertation on Kelmarsh Hall’s latest restoration project, Tunnelling Through the Past. Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Grant, the ‘below stairs’ area of the Hall will be restored and redeveloped to show how the working areas of house looked when it was occupied in years gone by. It will provide an educational space along with areas including a wash room and bake house, with sights, smells and sounds used to evoke the experience of those who served the Hall’s residents.