image shows 3 volunteers outside JFBVolunteering at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum traces the story of submarine development from the age of Alexander the Great to the present day and volunteers play an important role in helping us to tell that story.

This is a very exciting time to volunteer at the Museum because a two and a half year programme costing nearly £7m is taking place to restore our World War 2 submarine HMS Alliance and bring her up to date for a 21st century visitor audience.

We have a wide range of volunteers helping at the Museum including

  • young people from local schools and colleges
  • university students looking for work related volunteering to enhance their future career prospects
  • local people who are unemployed and looking for current work experience to enhance their employability
  • people who are recently retired and want to take part in an exciting and worthwhile project
  • people who just love anything to do with submarines! 

The Museum offers volunteering opportunities which can be in support of different areas of our work. Some of the volunteer roles in the Museum may not currently be available but we are always pleased to hear from anyone who would like to find out more about becoming involved with the work of the Submarine Museum as a volunteer. 

Some of the volunteer roles that we offer include

Artefact collection volunteers - who enjoy interacting with the public to help with our artefact handling table during Chris and John from Give Gain and Growschool holidays and other busy periods. Volunteers must enjoy talking to the public, interacting with them and making  their visit to the Submarine Museum as special as possible.

Craft volunteers - who would enjoy making padded coat hangers to help protect the historic uniforms in our collection.

Conservation volunteers - an exciting opportunity to become involved with the restoration of HMS Alliance, our World War 2 submarine. We are looking for volunteers to join us when the internal conservation of the submarine begins in late Spring 2013. Volunteers will work alongside the conservators who will be restoring HMS Alliance so that she will look just like she did when she was first commissioned in 1948. This will involve basic tasks such as cleaning, painting and polishing. Once the restoration work has been completed we hope that our volunteers will form part of a group that will contribute to the ongoing conservation and maintenance of the boat.

Education volunteers - to help with our busy programme of activities for family and school visitors. We need volunteers, preferably with some experience of working in education or with children, to assist with a wide variety of exciting activities that link in with the National Curriculum and relate to the items in our collections including Jolly Rogers and our submarines!

Events volunteers – we have a busy programme of events throughout the year. These can range from Spooky Tours which take place at October half term, Submarine Santa tours in December and other events during school holidays as well as activities for older visitors. Volunteers are welcomed by the Museum to provide support at these events, especially if you enjoy dressing up!

Explainers for our interactive science gallery - Feel the force, keep a submarine buoyant, how a periscope works. These are some of the exhibits in our interactive science gallery which contains a range of hands on activities designed  to demonstrate aspects of submarine science. The exhibits are designed for use by children and adults. We are looking for volunteers who have an interest in science and would enjoy interacting with a wide range of museum visitors, helping them to use the exhibits and talking about the collection and how it works.

This role would take place during school holidays and other busy periods only.

Holiday activity volunteers - to help us during the school holidays with drop in workshops, demonstrating, supervising and assisting with simple arts & crafts activities for children and families.

Submariner guides - Veteran submariners have filled the role of delivering the guided tours of HMS Alliance for many years. Former submariners act as volunteer guides, providing firsthand accounts of what it was like to serve onboard HMS Alliance, our WW2 submarine. We are always looking for former submariners who would like to join our HMS Alliance guides. All our guides served in the Royal Navy Submarine Service and some even on HMS Alliance herself. Visitor feedback shows that this is what makes a visit to the Submarine Museum such a special experience.   

Group volunteering

The Submarine Museum also works with a wide variety of organisations across the area to encourage the local community to engage with the Museum through volunteering. Some recent examples include

Bay House School staff and pupils helping with our garden areas as part of the “Donate a Day” volunteering initiative

Give, Gain and Grow a local volunteering group regularly help to maintain garden areas of the Museum and deliver promotional materials on our behalf.

Loud and Proud members of a local young people’s volunteer group who have helped at several recent Museum events including Spooky Tours and Submarine Santa tours.

Portsmouth University students are helping with translation, artefact conservation and journalism students will be helping to design a corporate newsletter for the Museum this spring.peter  ely helping with the photographic archive

St Vincents College students are helping to design a mural to decorate our new education centre.


If you represent an organisation that would like to link with us whether for a day or for a longer period please contact us

If you would like to become a volunteer, require more information on these volunteer roles or would like to find out more about volunteering in general at the RN Submarine Museum please take the time to register into our interactive community. 

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