Volunteer FAQ

The Maid of the Loch is the last major paddle steamer to be built in Britain and is based at Balloch on the shores of Loch Lomond. She, and the Balloch Steam Slipway, are run by the Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC), a charity registered in Scotland (No. SC024062). Since taking over ownership in 1995, LLSC volunteers have contributed over 80,000 hours’ work restoring the Maid to the static visitor attraction she is today and the winchhouse to a working slipway capable of hauling the 555-564 tonne Maid out of the water.

Our volunteers come to the Maid every Saturday and Wednesday. Some run the slipway winchhouse steam engine whilst others carry out repairs, maintenance and refurbishment of the ship, provide engineering expertise or undertake administrative duties.

Now that we have secured Heritage Lottery Funding to get the Maid sailing again, we have a number of Volunteer roles we need help with:

Deck Crew

  • General labouring - and also some opportunities exist to learn from our engineer volunteers.

Visitor Support Crew

  • Hosts - meeting/greeting visitors, answering questions, showing people around.
  • Event Support Assistants - helping with set-up, selling tickets, general hospitality, souvenir sales.
  • Learning & Access Assistants - assisting with educational activities/heritage learning activities, leading tours, research/archive management.

If you would like to get involved with this exciting project to get the Maid sailing again, then you can get more information by:

  • Contacting our office in Balloch
  • Visiting us on board and speaking to our existing volunteers.
  • Speaking with our volunteer co-ordinator

The first step is to fill in a Volunteer Application Form. These are available from staff on board the ship or by contacting our office in Balloch. You will then be invited for an informal one-to-one interview.

After the informal interview volunteers are selected based on their skills, personal qualities and experience. We are an inclusive organisation and welcome people from all nationalities, faiths and backgrounds.

Anyone aged 16 and over may volunteer. There is no upper age limit.

Whilst you are volunteering on the Maid of the Loch you are fully covered by the charity’s insurance policy.

Yes, but please let your Job Centre Adviser/benefits office know that you are volunteering.

If you are not enjoying your role you may move to another role provided there is one available and it is a suitable match.

We aim to provide volunteers with support to assist you in your roles and make sure you are happy with your tasks. The Volunteer Coordinator, who is responsible for volunteers is happy to speak to you face-to-face, by telephone or e-mail.

There are some limited opportunities for volunteers based at home. We hope to develop this more when we commence work on our extensive archive.

We ask that volunteers contribute at least two days a month. Visitor Support Volunteers will be able to sign up for specific events via our online volunteer sign-up system.

Volunteers are free to take holidays – just let us know when you’ll be away.

Yes, PPE is provided by LLSC. Appropriate dress codes will be discussed / agreed according to the volunteer role.

Unfortunately we cannot provide volunteers with travel expenses at this time.

People volunteer for many reasons. Some of the benefits of volunteering include: meeting new people, a productive way to spend time, developing or enhancing skills, trying something different, an addition to your CV, gaining experience for employment, or contributing to a ship of national significance.