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We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to our museums.  We may look a little different, but we still feel the same.  We’re starting to reopen our museums beginning with the Ulster Museum on 30 July.

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Stephanie Ruelland, Ulster Museum

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Some of our volunteers have told us about their experiences with National Museums NI. Find out what they've learnt and what they enjoy most about volunteering with us.

Stephanie-Ruelland-UM-Volunteer-175x250Tell us about yourself in no more than 50 words.

I am a mum of one, in my late 40s, a part-time teacher in Northern Ireland (KS3-5), as well as a part-time student with the Open University, with which I am preparing a degree in Art History. I also have a great interest in Art and some aspects of History, drawings/paintings/printing/photography, reading and gardening.

What volunteering are you involved in with National Museums NI?

I assist the textile art curator of the Ulster Museum, Charlotte McReynolds.

How did you hear about the role and why did you apply?

Facebook announcement.

I only switched to part-time employment this year, after 23 years of full-time teaching. Activities linked to Art History have been my post-teaching goals for the last few years and the Ulster Museum’s offers of volunteering posts seemed an opportunity not to be missed to get a further insight in curating work.

Have you learnt anything new about National Museums NI that you didn’t know before?

Yes, so much! Apart from being a regular visitor to the museum, and an occasional visitor to its workshops and lectures, I did not know much about the museum itself, its back-stage activities.

I think I have a better understanding of the history of the Ulster Museum, and especially its textile collection. I have also certainly learned a lot about the maintenance of a collection.

Have you learnt anything new about yourself through volunteering with us?

Yes. I need a change of career! It has most definitely comforted me in my post-teaching plan. I actually wish museum opportunities had been presented as career options when I was in school…

Tell us the best 3 things about volunteering with National Museums NI?

  1. My volunteer role offers me a fantastic breath of fresh air, a really welcome break in my teaching weekly routine (these are moments I really look forward to!)
  2. Meeting a very pleasant and approachable team (curators, conservation specialists, etc…)
  3. I have learned so much! Charlotte is a passionate and dedicated curator, with fantastic didactic skills. I appreciate her patience and love our discussions.