In the Spring of this year, we submitted a case study to ARA (the Archives & Records Association), on how we have grown the number of people volunteering for us, and the ways in which we recruit and support them, and how we see this as part of our community outreach and development plan. We’re delighted to report that our case study has won the ARA’s nationwide Volunteering Award 2019. Officials from Scotland and Ireland are travelling to Gloucester to present the award and join in the celebrations.
At any one time, we have between 160 to 190 volunteers; this figure contracts and expands as we take on new volunteers and existing volunteers move into full time work or education, volunteer elsewhere or simply move away. This is very clearly an award for everyone of our volunteers, past and present so thank you very much to you all.
We actively recruit volunteers for specific roles and projects, and use social media to do this – through information on our web pages, through the “Engage in Gloucester” web portal, and through Twitter and Facebook campaigns. We are keen to increase participation by those from groups who may not traditionally come forward; younger adults, people from minority ethnic communities, people unemployed or homeless and those with long-term conditions, including mental health issues and physical and learning disabilities. This is nothing new, and other museums, libraries and archives services also target these groups; we now have lots of national data and qualitative evidence that volunteering helps people feel better about themselves. This evidence shone through in the results of our 2019 Volunteer Survey (for highlights, please go to the volunteering page at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives).
ARA will be presenting the Volunteering Award on Friday 15th November, between 2.30pm – 4.30pm, at Llanthony Secunda Priory. There will be tea and cake, and a tour of the priory site. We have decided to close the Heritage Hub that afternoon, so that all staff and volunteers can be present. We’re keen that all our volunteers join the celebrations if you wish to do so.
Please be aware that car parking is very limited at Llanthony Secunda Priory so, if you plan on joining us, please feel free to park at the Heritage Hub and either walk from there, or get a lift with others.
If you intend coming along to the event, please do let me know by 1 November 2019 at firstname.lastname@example.org