Receiving organisation: The Auchindrain Trust
Dates: August/September 2016 – August/September 2017
About the receiving organisation
Urras Achadh an Droighinn/The Auchindrain Trust is a long-established charity and social enterprise in Argyll, Scotland, around 75 miles (120km) north-west of Glasgow. Auchindrain (spoken “Achan-DRYan) is a 23-acre (9.5-ha) historic site of national cultural and historical importance to Scotland, and the Trust’s primary purpose is its preservation and conservation, and its operation as a museum. More information about Auchindrain can readily be found at www.auchindrain.org.uk and elsewhere on the internet including Auchindrain Township on Facebook, and is thus not set out here.
For some years the Trust has been active in providing opportunities for training and work experience. In particular, it has significant experience in hosting career-building internships for people about to start university, working towards a first degree, or engaged in postgraduate studies.
Work & learning opportunities
The person selected will be assigned to Management and Administration, Marketing, or Collections and Research. Work in each of these areas has a different emphasis, but with a common core of learning opportunities. The successful EVS applicant will, at junior level, be part of the museum’s professional and administrative management team. They will develop a rounded understanding of how a social enterprise operates, acquire a range of skills and knowledge that will enhance their general employability, and build up a body of achievement in their chosen area of work. There is at this stage no specific tasks description for the EVS volunteer, and one will be developed in discussion with the person selected when it becomes clear what their exact role will be, with them having a significant say in determining what work they will do. However, we require that the EVS volunteer has a decent level of English (both written and spoken) to be able to communicate in English on daily basis (B2-C2 level is necessary). The working hours will not exceed 35-40 hours a week. The EVS volunteer is also eligible to join an online English language course provided by the European Commission. For the online language course, 2 hours per week will be used within the working hours. The EVS volunteer is also entitled to regular meetings with a mentor within the working hours
Living and Working in Argyll
For the right person, an EVS project at Auchindrain offers a wide range of opportunities to experience and explore an area that is one of Europe’s great wild places, but it is not for everybody, and requires a degree of maturity, resourcefulness and emotional toughness. Potential applicants are strongly advised the research the Argyll area on the internet, and to satisfy themselves that they would enjoy what it can offer and not miss what it does not have. The museum is located within a supremely-beautiful landscape of mountains, valleys and sea-lochs, but the area has a quite small resident population. In summer the area is a major location for tourism, but can seem very quiet in the winter. The area’s small towns contain all the shops required for normal living, but the area contains no cinemas, nightclubs or theatres and leisure facilities are limited to swimming and community-run activities. Although the museum is located on a major road, the A83, public transport is limited to five buses a day, four in winter. The major city of Glasgow is accessible by bus for a day out and it takes about 1.5 hours to get there. In that way, EVS volunteer can also stay in touch and organise various social activities with Glasgow-based EVS volunteers. Glasgow also has transport links for longer-distance exploring during holidays, but EVS volunteers are advised that if at all possible they should bring or acquire their own transport. If a car cannot be afforded a motorcycle is ideal, failing which a bicycle will provide essential mobility and flexibility within the local area.
The Trust will arrange accommodation for the EVS volunteer, possibly in the small town of Lochgilphead 30km to the south or perhaps in one of the villages between there and the museum. The small town of Inveraray, 10km to the north of the museum, is more cosmopolitan than anywhere else in Mid Argyll and is a welcoming and pleasant place to live and spend leisure time, but the bus service between there and the museum is limited in winter. At this stage it is not clear what form the accommodation will take and may consist of the use of a residential caravan or a lodging arrangement in a private house, but it will be of a good standard.
Applicants are asked to set out their background, experiences (in form of CV, maximum of two A4 pages) and career development aspirations, and to indicate how they would like to be involved in the Trust’s work (in form of cover letter, the text should not exceed two A4 pages). The focus should be on how the applicant would expect to benefit from the EVS project, rather than on seeking to demonstrate suitability for any particular predefined role.
Selected candidates will be invited for an inteview with EVS coordinator of Stowarzyszenie Promocji Wolontariatu. Pre-selected applications will be sent to the receiving organisation. The Trust will then identify the best match between the aspirations of individuals who would be a good fit with the museum’s internal culture, and suitable organisational development projects. At the last stage of the selection process, successful applicants will be invited for the Skype interview.