Skills For the Future at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Hello and Welcome!

This is the first in what will hopefully become a regular update in the workings here at Gressenhall Museum keeping you up-to-date with all our Skills for the Future people.

My name is Josh Giles and I am the Visitor Services Intern. Having graduated with a history degree I was keen on moving into a job within the heritage sector, and applied for this post to give me a broad range of practical experience.

I am currently only a few weeks in and it couldn’t be more varied. I suppose Visitor Services is quite a broad phrase and I shall try to explain what I am doing! Half the time I am with our dedicated and talented Front of House team, opening up the site for the visitors and helping them around the museum in anyway I can.

The other half of my job is helping with our online services like this blog as well as Twitter and Facebook. I am also seeing what I can do to support and develop audiences to the museum, looking at how we can improve the service we are giving our customers. Over the coming months we will be carrying out some evaluation on the new museum shop, seeing what people think is good and what we can improve on.

The museum is a lovely place to work, and I am finding new places to explore everyday. We have unfortunately seen lower visitor numbers than expected because of the recent wet weather but the people I have met are a delight to talk to. The farm is also an added bonus to the job, taking people around on the cart rides as well as helping out with the care of the animals, though Richard, Mike and our Apprentice Farmer Oscar do most of the work.

I think this is a true summing up of what my job is like. On a recent visit to the opticians, when I was asked what I need my glasses for at work, my reply was, “well I am on the computers a lot, and I do drive a tractor!”

I have very much enjoyed the start of my six months here, and I am hoping that this will help me progress in a career in heritage. I suppose my post is slightly different to the other ones you will be hearing about on this blog as I am not taking up old practical skills that are in danger of being lost, like our historic engine guys and farrier. The title though is Skills for the Future and what I am doing is helping the museum as technology is progressing, connecting with people in another way. And I hope that is valued just as much.

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