An initiative spearheaded by on of Tattershall Castle’s volunteers has raised nearly £1,000 for conservation projects at the historic site.
The past year has proved to be a very successful year for the castle’s second-hand bookshop with the 2014 year-end figures showing a significant profit.
The bookshop was the sole initiative of volunteer Joyce Dixon, who has been a volunteer at Tattershall Castle for nine years.
For some time she had thought that greater use could be made of the space in the Castle guardhouse where visitors can sit and enjoy a coffee.
With the support of the staff Joyce set up a small area where visitors could donate or find books.
“At first I sourced books from anywhere I could,” Joyce said, “Anyone I knew who was moving house or decorating, there I was asking for donations of books. I began to haggle for England at car boot sales etc. and we put up notices in the Castle.”
Her hard work was soon rewarded and Joyce was overwhelmed by the great response from both visitors and community organisations such as local Rotary Clubs and now has a substantial stock of over 1000 books.
“Joyce has made the second-hand bookshop a real financial success which benefits an array of conservation projects at Tattershall Castle,” said the Castle’s General Manager, Sara Blair-Manning, “the books are beautifully displayed on new shelving units which have been bought using some of the funds raised by the book sales.
“Visitors can relax in the sofas and chairs and even have a cuppa while they peruse the books on offer. It’s a fantastic space.”
Volunteering itself has its rewards. It’s flexible, a great way to meet people and make friends, and have fun. Joyce volunteers in a variety of roles. “It is your choice,” she explains, “you can do whatever you want, try anything or everything.
“I started in the shop, I have done education, weddings, meet and greet, raffles, refreshments… most of all I like meeting the visitors and no two days are the same, and all the volunteers have funny stories to tell,”.
Like all National Trust places, Tattershall Castle relies heavily on volunteers to keep this local and national heritage open and accessible for everyone. Tattershall Castle welcomes applications for many roles: tour guides; costume makers; a leatherworker; grounds, conservation and education assistants and more.
Like Joyce’s work, each of these roles plays a vital part of making Tattershall Castle special.
“Joyce has made a very positive change at Tattershall Castle,” said Volunteer Manager Charlotte Stockdale, “her time and dedication make a real difference.”
Anyone interested in volunteering at the castle should contact Charlotte on 01526 342543 or book onto one of the volunteering taster days at Tattershall Castle on April 24 and 26.