Where and why?

Here at Compuco, we work with a number of amazing organisations with a purpose for social good such as charities, membership organisations and grant giving foundations.  Each month we gather as a team to discuss updates and make a point of highlighting some of the important work our clients do and how Compuco are helping them to achieve this.

When I learned about the opportunity to volunteer, I wanted to choose something that would adhere to these same values of building a better world.

Gunnersbury Park and Museum is an estate now owned by what is currently the London Boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow.  It was obtained by the borough in 1925 on the condition that it would only be used for leisure and recreation and they have kept that promise.  As well as preserving the rich cultural heritage of the area, Gunnersbury Park and Museum’s ethos is to be welcoming and provide excellent experiences to attract the widest possible range of visitors and add value to their lives.  I chose to volunteer with Gunnersbury Park and Museum because of my interest in preserving and celebrating history and because of the chance it would give me to serve and engage with the local community.  

The park and museum are free to enter and having done some voluntary work in the past I know how much of a positive impact having accessible spaces that provide a range of services and cultural initiatives for both adults and children alike can make to local residents, as well as visitors from further afield.

There is something to suit everyone at Gunnersbury, whether it be outdoor music festivals, workshops, the modern Sports Hub, the Grade II listed parkland, or the museum that houses a fascinating collection of items including the 1804 Stanhope Printing Press which was the first all-iron printing press designed by Earl Charles Stanhope.  Stanhope devoted his life to technology and philanthropic projects and he refused to copyright the design, allowing anyone to freely build their own press, and making it perhaps one of the earliest examples of open source technology!

How and what?

At Compuco all members of the team are offered two days which they can use toward volunteering to support causes and activities they care about or to contribute toward their community!

I got involved with volunteering by signing up through the Gunnersbury Park and Museum website.  Shortly after, I had an induction for Museum Steward Volunteering, then was shown the ropes by staff at the museum and two longer serving volunteers.

Volunteers get the chance to learn about the estate and guide visitors of all ages and walks of life around the incredible building and rich collection of items of local social history from the Palaeolithic to present day.  I have found that visitors are always pleasantly surprised not just by the splendour of the Rothschild Rooms, but also by the unexpected treasures they discover whilst exploring the nine exhibition galleries.

Gunnersbury Park and Museum is a real asset to the area with around one million visitors per year and it relies on the combined hard work of the full-time and part-time staff, the Board of Directors, Trustees, Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum and of course, the dedicated team of volunteers!  There are many ways to make a difference at Gunnersbury Park and Museum, like helping as a Garden Volunteer or Litter Picking Volunteer.  Gunnersbury Estate (2026) CIC which is the small, not-for-profit organisation responsible for managing and maintaining Gunnersbury Park Museum also welcomes donations from anyone who would like to offer their support.