Young volunteer, 13, speaks of pride in helping at Lee-on-the-Solent's Hovercraft Museum

A YOUNG volunteer has spoken of her pride in helping the country’s only hovercraft museum protect and showcase its collection - and more help is always needed.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 10:36 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 3:00 pm

The Hovercraft Museum Trust in Lee-on-the-Solent has a team of helpers of all ages who all contribute different skills and life experiences to the day-to-day running of the museum.

Those who give up their time to support the charity range in age from 13 to 80, working together as a team to share practices and offer new experiences and opportunities for people helping out.

At 13 years old Issy Jenkins is the museum’s youngest volunteer, and began helping out several years ago before becoming a regular volunteer.

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Issy Jenkins is the youngest volunteer at the Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-the-Solent, aged 13. Pictured here with fellow volunteer Lois Thain

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She said: ‘I started coming to the museum with my mum and dad but I quickly found out how much I enjoy being a volunteer.

‘I recognise the skills it has given me including increasing my confidence to talk to people and visitors, it has helped me understand the need for accurate time-keeping and I regularly enjoy helping in the shop and ticket office.

‘All these skills I am practising are going to help me with whichever career I decide to work in in the future.

Young volunteers who spend their time helping out at the Hovercraft Musem in Lee-on-the-Solent

‘I am proud to wear my museum uniform and be part of such a lovely team of people.’

The youth volunteering scheme at the museum sees more than 25 per cent of volunteers being students who are either completing the Duke of Edinburgh scheme or students who are enjoying volunteering life so much that they have decided to stay.

Louise Jenkins, chairman of trustees at The Hovercraft Museum Trust, said: ‘We try as far as possible to offer a range of volunteering opportunities and the time for everyone to learn something new, whether that be work skills, use of equipment, social communication skills or just social enjoyment from helping support the work of the charity.’

All volunteers are offered training in health and safety practices, fire safety and the trust is now looking to start offering a basic introduction into first aid.

‘Without volunteers we would not be able to operate and continue to protect and showcase our unique collection,’ said Louise.

‘So to everyone who gives up their time to volunteer to a charity, thank you so very much - you are simply amazing.’