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Case Study - James: Handling Box Volunteer

James volunteered with us on a six-week placement through Enable Works. He photographed and created a list of the handling objects in our collection, then researched further information about the handling objects that we can use for future school and group visits. James has left to start a new job at the University of Dundee. 

He has written about his volunteer experience on HMS Unicorn here: 

 My name is James Kirkland and I am a graduate from Abertay University with a degree in games design. My previous jobs include working as a general assistant at a hotel and being a kitchen worker at a Mexican fast food place. 

The work I did at the Unicorn involved researching the various handling objects that the ship has, writing information about them, taking pictures of them and creating a document bringing it all together. This experience has improved the skills of independent working and researching that I had developed during my time at university.

I feel very fulfilled thinking that what I have written may teach something new to someone or engage their imagination or inspire them to do further research of their own.

Working on the Unicorn is one of the most unique experiences I have had. How many people can say they have worked onboard one of the oldest ships in the world that’s still afloat? I feel that I have learned so much here as well, even if my role had not been to research dozens of objects, I would have walked away knowing so much more about the Unicorn itself and the many things its wooden walls have seen. Even contributing a little to the story of the oldest ship in Scotland is an incredibly fulfilling experience and I cannot recommend volunteering here enough. 

As someone who had been job seeking for over a year before I got the opportunity to volunteer at the Unicorn, I can say that it was such a pleasant and enriching experience having something worthwhile to work on every week.



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