Voices of Volunteering goes online

Since my last post in June ‘WVS/WRVS serve at Wimbledon’, I have been very busy traveling the length and breadth of Britain collecting memories and stories from current and former WVS/WRVS volunteers and employees. This has been part of our oral history project Voices of Volunteering: 75 Years of Citizenship and Service which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and aims to collect over 80 oral histories by March 2016. The memories and stories collected so far tell a very personal story of how WVS/WRVS/Royal Voluntary Service has helped society since 1938. The first 14 of those narratives have now been added to our Archive online and you can listen to them in full by using the links below. Or if you want to carry out a more advanced search of our oral history collection to look for a service or person, you can look at our Guide to searching the Archive online page.

Ena Miles and Pat Clarke discussing their time in the Bristol Royal Infirmary canteen since 1987

Caroline Naylor focusing on what it was like to be a volunteer trainer in the 1990s

Maureen Jones who was involved with Meals on Wheels for 45 years and went from delivering meals to Essex Meals on Wheels County Organiser

How Elizabeth Kay gave talks to parents of young children about drug abuse in the 1960s

Mary Howard-Jones who joined WVS in 1953 as an Ambulance Driver and went on to become an Emergency Services trainer

How Barbara Statham, as Bedforshire County Hospital Organiser (1979-1993), was responsible for the rebuilding of a hospital canteen after a fire

A member for just over 30 years, Doreen Harris who went from being a volunteer in the Norfolk County Clothing Store to a District Organiser for North and South Norfolk

Gilli Galloway one of WRVS’ first members of staff in 1993 responsible for Community Services

Angela Currie who joined in 1985 as an Emergency Services Volunteer, over the years she was involved in many emergencies including the Boscastle floods

Gladys Brown who helped WRVS to collect and distribute furniture to those who needed it in the 1950s

Christine Manby who has been involved with Emergency Services since the 1990s and has attended emergencies such as floods and bomb scares

Gillian Highley an Old People’s Welfare Organiser for Halifax from 1967 and how she ran a very successful Lunch Club for 33 years.

Joan Beck talking about delivering Meals on Wheels in Holmfirth and running the local WRVS Toy Library

Happy Listening and watch this space for more oral histories from Voices of Volunteering.


Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 00:00 Monday, 24 November 2014.

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