Volunteering for Heritage – Best Practice Exchange

Erasmus+ Project, 12/2020 – 12/2021

KA204 – Strategic partnerships for adult education

 

In partnership with:

  • Foundation Chronic Dobro, Krakow (POLAND);
  • The Churches Conservation Trust, London (UK);
  • The City of Pori (FINLAND).

 


 

 

The “Volunteering for Heritage – Best Practice Exchange” project aims to build capacity of the staff members who cooperate with volunteers on a daily basis as well as to exchange best practices between the organisations operating in this field. All the project partners work for cultural heritage and have experience in involving volunteers in these activities.

The Churches Conservation Trust in England is in charge of 356 historic churches that had lost their sacral function. Conserving such a number of sites and making them available is possible thanks to ca. 2000 volunteers dispersed all over England and working in their local communities. The Satakunta Museum in Pori, Finland, is a regional museum that involves volunteers in its activities. What is more, its responsibilities include supporting small museums run by volunteers in the whole province. Such museums are grassroots initiatives of local communities cultivating their local heritage, and the official museum supports them with its professional staff and infrastructure. Culture Hub Croatia is an NGO forming partnerships with various local organisations and governments in order to support them in the management of heritage resources – especially the ones at risk of deterioration. Within these activities, it cooperates with professionals from all over Europe, who use their skills and training to support local governments in heritage preservation within international volunteering projects. The Chronić Dobro Foundation in Krakow, Poland, takes care of the oldest existing monastery in Poland by involving both local and international volunteers in building awareness of the role of heritage and the need to protect it. Within its activities, the Foundation strives to create a community of volunteers around a specific heritage site.

We share the conviction that volunteering for heritage doesn’t only translate into tangible benefits in protecting the heritage, but, above all, it is a great way to strengthen local communities and support the advancement of a civil society that feels responsible for their heritage resources, for their localities and their surroundings; a society that develops its sense of empowerment and impact on their environment.

Each partner will organise a study visit and invite 3 representatives of the remaining participating organisations. The study visits will serve the purpose of exchanging best practices and ideas, as well as strengthening the staff by developing their competences and reinforcing their motivation. Moreover, three trainings for participants will be organised to specifically address work with volunteers in the field of heritage.

The main result of the project will be the improvement of the competences of the staff of the organisations, which will translate into their daily work with volunteers and contribute to broadening the scope of the activities conducted so far. A stronger staff means stronger organisations able to improve the quality of their activities. We are hoping that in the long term, this will translate into a broader recognition of the organisations and an increase in the numbers of volunteers willing to become involved in heritage projects.

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