Volunteers offer a warm welcome to our branches, help personalise your visit and also help bring to life the stories changed by war and conflict. From delivering short talks to leading fun family activities, our friendly volunteers are here to help you make the most of your time at our sites. 

Ten Minute Talks: Join our volunteers for free introductory talks at IWM London, IWM North and IWM Duxford on an item or key figure linked to our collection or subject matter. Check the What’s on page to see what’s coming up here. No booking required.

Family Activities: Check the What’s On page to see what’s coming up on board. No booking required.

  • Morse Code: have a go at sending your name in morse code by tapping out dits and dars on a morse key.
  • Aldis Lamps: see how messages would have been sent using light by opening and closing the Aldis lamps.
  • Semaphore: send and decipher secret messages by putting semaphore flags in different positions to signal different letters.

Our volunteers

  • Harry

    "What I enjoy most about my role … is the camaraderie of being with other volunteers. But it’s also about engaging with the public. You meet so many interesting people and every day is like a new adventure."

  • Volunteer Norma in action


    “I really enjoy talking to visitors, it keeps me going and keeps me young.”

  • Alan Davis, IWM Volunteer, stands in the atrium at IWM London in his red uniform. A Harrier jet is pictured behind him.

    Alan D

    "I enjoy helping people to learn and seeing them quickly become confident and self-reliant. One of the tremendous things about the Buddy scheme is that, although it gives a broad framework to follow, there is plenty of scope to adapt things to meet the personal needs and preferences of both the new volunteer and the buddy."

  • David

    "Volunteering [days] are the best days of the week. I usually walk round with a silly smile on my face every Monday and Wednesday … It’s such fulfilling work to do, because I’m so interested in it personally, but also you’re mixing with a group people who share that interest."

  • Volunteer Paul in action


    “This course and this place has saved my life. I love working and connecting with the kids too and giving them a real life experience as a real life soldier, and overall this is helping me move onwards and forwards.”

  • Katya

    "Volunteering makes me feel incredibly proud and incredibly fortunate to be allowed to get so close to history … It’s incredibly rewarding but above all, mentally stimulating."

    Watch Katya and other volunteers talk about volunteering at Churchill War Rooms by clicking the link below.

  • Volunteer Alan


    "It was an honour and a pleasure to be part of something that was so important and special to so many people."

Edith's story


I could just remember, I was a child in arms and my father took me out to the kitchen door and he pointed into the sky, and the sky was orange. We lived 50 miles away from Plymouth and he said "Plymouth is on fire."

All my memories of childhood are really like snapshots in an album.

I was a primary school teacher so I never come unprepared, because you've got so many different people from all over the world. You just hope that it'll interest people. What I'm able to do is use what I was trained to do all my life so that children can be brought in to hear the stories.