We’re constantly amazed by the dedication, time and energy our volunteers bring to helping us gather, keep and share the documented heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, and often by the things they find too!
One group from Cheltenham have been visiting us regularly, for more than a year. They’re steadily working their way through a collection of solicitors’ papers, adding information to enhance our catalogue. We asked two of the group’s members what they get from this role:
“We both thoroughly enjoy volunteering at the Archives. We get the excitement of opening a new box and always hope that we will find the crown jewels – a map of Cheltenham from 1600. We have also enjoyed working along side all the staff, in the search room and with those ‘backstage’. We get the benefit of their training, knowledge and always feel welcome and valued. The group of volunteers that we work with are dedicated, always cheerful and sociable. We’ve had some very good laughs – very quietly of course! For ourselves, it keeps our minds active and engaged. We treasure Lumpey Dumpey and only wish that we had found him in a Cheltenham bundle, so that we could adopt him as our volunteering mascot.”
Volunteering opportunities are an important part of “For the Record”. Our new public areas will offer space for more groups to work on our collections or their own material. We’ll be able to offer more opportunities for individuals, groups and communities to get involved in their local heritage and we’ll be offering training to help local people make the most of them.
You can find out more about the “For the Record” project by visiting our website at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/fortherecord. Most of the project costs are being covered by grants and contributions from project partners, but we are seeking donations too. Please donate online at www.foga.org.uk or in person at Gloucestershire Archives.