The Rothschild Foundation is sad to announce the death of its Chairman, Lord Rothschild, businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural leader, who made a profound difference to many areas of British life.

He led, amongst other institutions, the National Gallery, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the family’s flagship, Waddesdon Manor. He supported many causes, some close to his home in Buckinghamshire, others as far afield as Israel, Albania, Greece and the United States. He was committed to helping communities, the environment, education and above all, the arts. His exemplary service to his country was recognised on several occasions, with a GBE, a CVO and as a member of the Order of Merit.

Jacob Rothschild was an extraordinary person, and his loss will be felt by many. The family is committed to continuing his legacy and the foundation which he loved and endowed. His daughter Hannah assumes the role of Chair of the Rothschild Foundation.

We will all be inspired by his vision, ambition, and his commitment to excellence.

Group of volunteers standing in front of Waddesdon Manor north front
Posted 28 January 2019

Behind the scenes

I volunteer because…

We’d be lost without our team of volunteers, but have you ever wondered how volunteering could help you?

Whether it’s meeting new people, gaining work experience, or seeing what goes on behind the scenes, there are so many reasons to volunteer at Waddesdon.

‘… it gave me a glimpse into a world I loved.’
I started volunteering whilst at university, to gain tangible experience in the heritage industry. I learnt what it takes to look after and preserve these special places, how to engage visitors with their stories, and what it’s really like to work inside a country house.
When it came to applying for jobs I had real demonstrable experience and a reference from within the industry, all of which proved invaluable. I’d also had a glimpse into a world I loved and could confidently say ‘this is the right place for me’.

Volunteers at Waddesdon. Image (c) Waddesdon Image Library, Stuart Bebb

It is rewarding and genuinely enjoyable to share these beautiful places and fascinating stories with fellow volunteers, staff and visitors alike, so much so that it’s something I continue to do many years later.
Francesca, Visitor Engagement Manager

‘…I love the open air and being in the beautiful grounds.’
I love volunteering at Waddesdon. I love the open air and being in the beautiful grounds. My role is to meet and greet visitors when they arrive from the car park, most of whom are really lovely and usually enjoy a bit of banter. The most frequently asked question? ‘Where are the toilets?!’
Brian, Welcome Host

Gardeners at work Waddesdon. Photo Chris Lacey (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

‘… it set me on the path to what I now call my day job.’
Volunteering as a Room Guide opened many doors. It offered an unrivaled insight into ‘everyday’ life behind-the-scenes at an English country house. Immersed in breath-taking interiors, exposed to magnificent works-of-art, it set me on the path to what I now call my day job.

Volunteering for the National Trust embodies something of a ‘virtuous circle’. Any commitment is rewarded twofold, and allows the Trust to continue its incredible work.
Michael, Curatorial Assistant

‘…it gives me the opportunity to make new friendships.’
Volunteering at Waddesdon has given me the chance to meet people with a shared interest in history and make new friendships, especially by joining the Waddesdon choir. It’s brilliant to be around people who appreciate the natural beauty of the grounds and the exhibitions that are put on each year.
Sharon, Welcome Host

Volunteer house host. Image (c) Waddesdon Image Library, Stuart Bebb

‘… it helped me have the confidence and skills to secure my dream job.’
Volunteering at Waddesdon Manor was a fantastic environment to gain work experience and training. I was given invaluable hands on experience in the Marketing department, from scheduling social media posts to writing blogs. I was also surrounded by a supportive, encouraging, welcoming team who were always willing to assist. My time volunteering helped me have the confidence and the skills to secure my dream job in heritage marketing.
Louise, Web Editor

House host volunteer

‘…I really feel part of a happy, valued team.’
‘Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I really feel part of a happy, valued team. People often worry, and say to me ‘how do you learn so much about the house and contents’. You don’t need to!
Of course, you pick up things over time, but experienced hosts will always be there to help you. If you’re thinking of volunteering, give it a go!’
Chris, House Host

Find out more about volunteering here.