All good things come to an end

Mary Howard-Jones attending the EventHere at the Archive we know how to celebrate in style and last weeks End of Project Event for Voices of Volunteering was no exception. This event hailed two years since the Voices of Volunteering project started in March 2014.

Royal Voluntary Service Volunteers and employees attended our event at the Assembly Rooms in Devizes on 15 March. There we had two exhibitions one which told the history of the charity through photographs of material held in the Archive and the other featured five of the volunteers who had been interviewed during the project.

This was also an opportunity to look back at what had been achieved by volunteers, Royal Voluntary Service and the project. Here we were able to show how, with the help of Heritage Champions, the project has made our history less ‘hidden’ and less ‘silent’. It was also a chance to share some very interesting stories including: a dog using the transport scheme in the 1970s, a game of Mr & Mrs on a Silver Threads Club holiday and how volunteers first became involved with WVS and WRVS.

At the event we also introduced our new school resources which aim to inspire a new generation of volunteers using stories from the oral history collection. To do this they look at debates surrounding volunteering such as what impact it has on people’s lives and local communities as part of one hour lesson plans. The lesson plans also encourage children to be more active citizens, helping older members of their families or fundraising for charity. Why not have a look for yourself on the Voices of Volunteering website.

Overall the event showed that the project has been a roller-coaster ride, a journey of discovery and emotion which has led to the collection of over 100 oral histories from women and men who between them have given over 75 years of Citizenship and Service since 1938. They are now available for you to listen to on our online catalogue.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, project archivist oral history at 09:00 Monday, 21 March 2016.

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