VoCH – Volunteers for Cultural Heritage
The project started out by acknowledging the increasing importance of the voluntary sector for preserving cultural heritage and running cultural institutions, such as museums.
The partners explored this phenomenon at European level, identifying different types of voluntary work and the areas of activity in which cultural volunteers are engaged, with the objective of designing training addressed both to volunteers themselves and to the people responsible for volunteer programmes within cultural organisations. The project took place from November 2007 until October 2009.
Cultural heritage was at the time and still is a strategic area for European Community policy-makers, supporting the integration of different European components through the recognition of the differences and similarities which characterise local and national cultures and traditions.
The conservation and valorisation of cultural assets require more resources – both financial and human – than the public sector can provide. In some European countries these roles are equally shared between the public and the private sector, often on a voluntary basis, to ensure that places, monuments, sites, and objects of cultural and historical value are passed on unharmed and, where possible, enhanced, to future generations, contributing to the understanding of a shared past and the strengthening of ties among European citizens.
The project took the position that institutions involving volunteers must offer adequate training, not only to provide skills necessary to carry out what may be very specialised tasks, but also to contribute to the volunteers’ growth as individuals, as members of a community, and as European citizens.
Project activities and outputs
- Europe-wide research on volunteers in the cultural heritage sector;
- Identification of good practice case studies;
- Design, development and delivery of short training modules both for volunteers and coordinators;
- Development and publishing of guidelines for good practice when working with volunteers;
- Dissemination of project outcomes through conferences and information days.
Funding programme: LLP-Grundtvig