Looking Back at Volunteers’ Week

Volunteers’ Week  runs nationally from 1 – 7 June. Hospitalfield celebrated the contribution’s volunteers make to our organisation by highlighting the diverse variety of volunteer activity that happens here on a near daily basis at Hospitalfield. The contribution of the time and skills of our volunteers are invaluable. Without our volunteers we would not be able to open to the public as frequently as we do and there are many vital activities that we rely on our volunteers to support including the work in the garden, the guided tours, events, supporting artists, and increasingly collection care. Volunteers are involved in all aspects of our work as a vital part of our community, giving their time and energy with the greatest generosity.

Hospitalfield’s volunteers are sometimes an unseen part of what makes Hospitalfield tick – but without them, we could not do what we do. Volunteers’ Week is the perfect opportunity to highlight their dedication, hard work and enthusiasm – and most importantly, to say thank you.” Annie Crabtree, Volunteer Coordinator

Below are a selection of quotes from volunteers speaking about their experiences at Hospitalfield.

“When I first visited Hospitalfield, I was overwhelmed by the social history of the building.  I loved the love story of Patrick Allan and Elizabeth Fraser, I loved the stories behind the paintings he had collected and the evidence of their life together. I liked finding artists, like Joan Eardley, who had enjoyed residencies   there in their early years, and I liked the folk I met there, volunteering along side me. I think that everyone should incorporate some element of volunteering in their life, a way of giving something back to society.   Hospitalfield , with its history, beauty and atmosphere , more than repays time spent there. Every time I go, I learn something new, and see something I haven’t noticed before.  The atmosphere seeps into your bones, and if you listen hard enough, you can hear the voices of the past echoing in empty corridors.” Penny

Collection Care

“I was one of the original “Friends” more than thirty years ago. The house has a way of drawing people in and making them feel they have an integral role in its history. The collections recording task we have recently undertaken is a natural consequence of this. It is enlightening and intriguing sorting and recording items. We appreciate the basic training and guidance given by Scott Byrne and look forward to expanding our knowledge.” Helen

“My reason for volunteering: I did so at a suggestion from Christine who thought I would find it interesting and I do! Collection Care is a whole new experience for me, quite different from my former working life though some skills are crossing over. I very much enjoy the involvement and the chance to see and handle (carefully!) so many different antique objects. It feels very worthwhile.” Maggie


“The best and friendliest learning experience you could wish for” Alec

Artist Assisting & Events

“Volunteering at Hospitalfield has really helped to spark my creative juices flowing again! Giving me the opportunity to assist and work beside professional creatives is a great way to get an insight into their work and individual approaches. While also being able to meet other interesting volunteers of a wide range of backgrounds and ages all brought together by our common enthusiasm for Hospitalfield and to play a small part in its future history.”  Angus

“Volunteering at Hospitalfield was a wonderful experience! It was fascinating to learn about the organisations history, art collection and current work. Assisting Mary Redmond gave me an in depth insight into her practice and the way she works with her environment, in this case the Hospitalfield garden. I feel very lucky to have gained such valuable experience and to have worked with such a great group of people!” Jessica

“I volunteered at Hospitalfield for its remarkable dual-focus of past and future. Helping contemporary artists create new, remarkable works that challenge and work with the historic setting gives a feeling that we’re helping to carry something on that was started so many years ago.” Zoe


“The walled garden at Hospitalfield is a very special place, providing a sense of peace & tranquillity. I enjoy being a volunteer here for the feeling of well-being it gives me & the pleasure I get from experiencing the garden change throughout the seasons. It is wonderful to be gardening on land that has been in cultivation since medieval times.” Lesley