Café Volunteers are required to help run our visitor centre cafe, covering mostly lunchtime and afternoons during the week. (volunteers normally cover 1-2 shifts a week, but we are very flexible) Opportunity to study level 2 or 3 customer service, retail, and basic food hygiene certificates. Whether you are looking for experience to add to your CV or have some time to spare and would like to support our charity, now is the time to get involved! We have some exciting times ahead and are seeking support in several areas. Our café support requires serving customers hot and cold drinks, preparing and serving sandwiches, toasties and cakes. You’ll also greet all visitors to the castle and issue them with tickets and look after our small retail area. Once you get here you might find other roles are of interest, we will happily support you! Please drop in your CV or call for an informal chat.
We have a range of volunteers working with us , and we always have room for more. If you would like to help out just occasionally at our events, or perhaps you’d like to be a tour guide , please get in touch.
What do I get out of toiling up the hill, and round the castle, cold and dripping, pigeon
haunted, ghostly trails…up the spiral, down again, through the dungeon past the biggest
spiders in Scotland.
I get History; the feeling of Robert ll and Euphemia oozing from every rock, the thought
of a hundred medieval vassals making that ceiling ,the love and laughter and spoils of the hunt
which echo ghostly around the thick thick walls, but so much more.
The boys who hurtled up and down, tabards askew, clutching ‘swords’ and yelling battle cries, the
American scouts totally held by the oubliette, ( and the spiders), the earnest historian who
probably knows more than me but wants to discuss it anyway, the foreigners who bravely take on
the ups and downs of Scottish history but do know who Robert the Bruce and Mary, Queen of
People are endlessly fascinating and fascinated; interesting and interested. The feeling of
carrying out a job which helps them enjoy their visit and helps the Castle to live a little. Being
useful, being needed and enjoying it all the while.
That’s being a volunteer.
I started volunteering at the castle in Aug 15. I was fortunate enough to be able to take early retirement and was looking for something to keep me busy, plus I wanted to become more involved in village life. When I started my knowledge of medieval history was pretty patchy, Scottish medieval history even more so. However, we already had at the castle staff who had a great depth of knowledge on the period. They fed my interest in the period and the castle itself, and I was able to pick their brains for interesting nuggets that I could steal for my tours!
It soon became clear to me that this was no ordinary castle. Built by the new King of Scotland (and the founder of the Stewart /Stuart Dynasty) in the 14th century, it was also his favourite. Also I know of no other site which had three separate and distinct castles built on the same site over a relatively short period.
So what do I get personally from volunteering here? Well, I take great pride that our little village has such a pivotal place in history and get pleasure from telling all and sundry about it. I enjoy the look on visitors’ faces as I pass on my knowledge and they begin to realise that this is not just any old castle but was once a spectacular royal palace that is dripping with history (literally dripping somedays). When people tell me that they have been to places such as Edinburgh and Stirling Castles but this was the best place they’ve visited it and the best tour they’ve had that makes my day, to be honest. It’s also fascinating meeting people from literally all over the world. They often have interesting and sometimes hilarious stories to tell about their own experiences.
The school visits we have are hard work but entertaining, to say the least. Children see the world through different eyes and some of their reactions and comments leave me chuckling for days. It’s important that kids get a wide knowledge of the past and our “hands on” approach is very different to what people normally experience.
Finally, where else do you get to dress up as a
a viking and walk around with the keys to a royal castle in your pocket?