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Collections Assistant - Okehampton

The National Trust
Okehampton, Devon
9.90 per hour
Closing date
8 Feb 2023

Job Details

Collections Assistant - Okehampton


We protect everything from bats to buildings to beaches – and we want to share them with everyone too. But how do we care for our special places, while helping everyone to enjoy them and their captivating stories? It’s no small task. In fact, it’s a big team effort and it’s why our Collections Assistants are so important.
We're looking for someone with a good eye for detail and a curiosity for collections conservation, willing to learn more about Finch Foundry and to convey that knowledge to our visitors.

This role is based on 916.5 annualised hours, where the amount of hours you work each month may vary, however your salary will be paid in 12 equal instalments over the year. Generally they will be spread through the open season (March to November), working 3 days a week 10am to 4pm, and approximately one day per week during the closed season. These three days will include some weekend working on a rota basis.

What it's like to work here

Reporting to the Senior Collections and House Officer you'll two other collections assistants working at Finch Foundry. The greater team consists of a Visitor Welcome Assistant and a small team of volunteers who help to tell the stories of Finch Foundry and bring the property to life for our visitors.
You’ll have the opportunity to get involved with many different aspects of the collection, volunteering and visitor experience. We want you to learn, discover and develop in the role, and we’ll do all we can to help you achieve your goals through training and support..

To find out more about the property please visit: Finch Foundry | Devon | National Trust

What you'll be doing

Day to day, you'll ensure the conservation of our collection. We have a wide collection of edge tools produced by the Finch company throughout the years, along with associated items. We also have the last working machinery of its type in England so it can be a little different from the norm. Due to the environment we work in they are always under threat and will need regular monitoring and care and recording of this work.
You’ll need to be willing to learn about the place and its contents so you can answer visitor’s questions and be able to conduct guided tours of the site. A base script and training will be provided. As you will be part of a small team so it is essential that you're happy to work with anyone and will support your colleagues.

Please also read the full role profile, attached to this advert.

Who we're looking for

We'd love to hear from you if you have; 
  •  A keen curiosity in history, historic properties and conservation of their collections
  • A good understanding of preventive conservation
  • Awareness of the approach required when working with fragile historic collections, as well as Health & Safety and emergency procedures
  • Good manual dexterity and eye-to-hand skills and ability to work from ladders and tower scaffold
  • The ability to support volunteers to perform at their best
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Willing to develop and grow professional and personal skills

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
  • Free entry to National Trust properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Tax free childcare scheme
  • Rental deposit loan scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Perks at work discounts i.e. gym memberships, shopping discount codes, cinema discounts
  • Holiday allowance up to 32 days relating to length of service, plus holiday purchase scheme, subject to meeting minimum criteria.
  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Independent financial advice

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.


The National Trust is committed to promoting and preserving those places of natural beauty and historic interest for which it has the privilege to be responsible for the benefit of the nation, for everyone for ever.

The Trust is proud of what has been achieved over the last 126 years and is determined to maintain those high standards of conservation, stewardship and curatorial care for which it has been recognised throughout the world.

Its achievements have enabled the general public and the Trust’s members and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside, coastline, gardens, historic buildings and collections, all of which encapsulate so much of the history of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a duty to tell that history in a complete, balanced and accurate way, and without judgement.

The National Trust continues as a guardian of the past, and for the future, to uphold its duty to maintain and enhance what has been entrusted to its care.

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