The running of Kielder Observatory is only possible due to the amazing support we have from a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers. There is one full time astronomer, Gary Fildes (Director), along with three support staff members managing event delivery and astronomy, administration and operations management.
The rest of the staff you will meet at the observatory are volunteers who hold down regular jobs during the week and help with the observatory during evening and weekend events.
Many of our volunteers are very keen amateur astronomers with interests ranging from radio astronomy, to imaging, and cosmology. We also number two former university lecturers in our ever growing team of support and as such, we regard all of them to have a wealth of knowledge about some aspect of the night sky and the universe in general. Recently two of our volunteers have been appointed to full time paid positions at the observatory, making it great thing to have on your CV.
However we are always looking out for new volunteers to help out, it would be ideal if you have some astronomy experience, but it is NOT essential, what is essential is that you are willing to offer your time and skills and that you are friendly, approachable and enthusiastic about astronomy.
Kielder Observatory are also happy to support and pay any incurred travel costs that any volunteers have, and provide on site training, which has included areas as diverse as telescope operations to first aid training. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and range from teenagers to retired people. Kielder is a magical place, which after you visit you'll most likely want to come back again and again. Volunteering for us gives you that amazing opportunity.
- Science explaining - leading tours of the Observatories and describing our telescopes to visitors.
- Maintenance of the facility including joinery and basic engineering.
- Organising events and finding speakers.
- Running Star Camps which take place annually.
- Campaigns such as the Dark Sky conservation.
- Fundraising - including funding applications and events.
- Marketing and branding.
If you would like to help out, you can choose from anything above, or suggest a role you could create to use and develop your own skills, please contact us via our site.