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Letters from Our Volunteers: Karen Welcomes You to New Place

Karen tells us about her experience working as a welcome volunteer at Shakespeare's New Place.

Karen Bucknall
New Place gate house

I have been a volunteer with The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust since May 2016. 400 years since his death, and what a great time to start! There were so many different and exciting projects ahead. I have for many years always attended Shakespeare’s birthday celebrations, the Literary Festival, and the outdoor Shakespeare plays at The Dell. Year after year, I had an annual Shakespeare pass, it was always my birthday treat to myself, and I had many lively days out with family and friends. I have always wanted to work for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. I am so very fortunate to be doing something that I really enjoy and love. The training courses are the best I have been on. I like the fact that the Trust invests in their volunteers and works to bring out their natural abilities and talents.

I work at the ticket gate of Shakespeare's New Place, where I check the tickets, give out leaflets, and answer 101 queries our visitors may have. Questions can range from anything like how to get to Hall's Croft or the Church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried, to the best pubs, sandwich places, etc. or even how to get to The Cotswolds—I often joke that I also work as the local tourist information centre. 

New place volunteer 2

I like everything that I do with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and I am so very grateful for all the lovely opportunities I have been given. I am lucky to work with such lovely people who believe in me and support me with my career goals. I like being on the ticket gate at New Place, and I enjoy working with such a great bunch of people and the laughs we have together. I also enjoy meeting all of our many visitors, especially the overseas visitors. I enjoy all the training I receive, and I am looking forward to the many challenging tasks I may have with the Trust in the next few months. I am looking forward to working with the special events, security, and education teams in the future.

I am the happy and smiling face at the ticket gate. I love meeting new people, and the volunteer role gives me a real sense of pride for belonging to a charity that really cares about their volunteers.

Find out more about volunteering at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

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