Spotlight on HMS Unicorn


Spotlight on HMS Unicorn


What target groups do you help? 

We help anyone who wants to make a difference in their local community and work with all ranges of ages and abilities. We help people who speak English as a second language to improve their communication skills, those who are long term unemployed to gain new work place skills and those who are wanting to improve their mental health and wellbeing.  

We are particularly interested in helping young people – 44% of our volunteers are aged between 16-25 and those who have a disability – 68% of our volunteers consider themselves to have a disability, although it should be noted that there are some issues in physically accessing our ship.  

And how do the volunteers help?

Volunteers can help us through four main roles – giving our visitors guided tours of HMS Unicorn, helping with our collections documentation, assisting us with running our activities and events or cleaning and maintaining the ship.  

HMS Unicorn was launched in 1824 and is the oldest ship in Scotland and the third oldest ship in the world still afloat! We have four decks full of history to explore where visitors can discover the unique experience of life on board a 19th century frigate. Volunteers help us to maintain and preserve HMS Unicorn, bring her stories to life for as wide an audience as possible and become part of the ship’s history themselves.  


What volunteer roles do you have, and do you have any areas you wish to get more volunteer involvement? 

We are specifically looking for Seasonal Tour Guide volunteers and Activities and Events volunteers so if you’re a friendly, chatty person who wants to find out more about HMS Unicorn and work with visitors then let us know! 


What skills & experience are required to volunteer with you? 

The skills vary depending on the role that you are looking to apply for but we don’t ask for specific qualifications for any of them. Being enthusiastic, reliable and helpful are the most important qualities that we look for in a volunteer.  


What training can the volunteer expect? 

We give role specific training to our volunteers including an induction and orientation tour. We also offer a mentor/supervisor to each of our volunteers to help them gain the skills and experience that they want and help them fulfil the role to their best potential.  


Volunteers statement or story  

“I started volunteering to help my own personal journey , helping me to boost my confidence and do something new to show what I’m capable off . I love it as it gives me a chance to give back to the community  and make new connections in a fantastic working environment plus help look after a historical frigate with a great bunch of people who make it a welcoming and friendly place to work. As well as learning new things about the history of the frigate and maritime history.”  

 Tony W., Volunteer Tour Guide 




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