Volunteering with VCH Herefordshire

VCH Herefordshire relies heavily on voluntary support in its current work on parishes in the Ledbury area. Some people work individually, pursuing research under the guidance of the Team Leader. Others work in groups, providing mutual support and encouragement in fulfilling a particular task – completed projects include transcriptions of material from trade directories, parish registers and census enumerators’ books. Other volunteers help support the administration of the Trust.

There is no cost in ‘joining’ VCH Herefordshire. Volunteers do not receive any payments, though out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed. Volunteers receive the twice-yearly newsletter, Herefordshire Past, and an invitation to an annual celebratory event.               

ACTIVE RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Wills Transcription Group

This long-established group is transcribing probate material up to the year 1700 for the parishes on which the VCH is working. The documents provide valuable information for writing the social and economic history of the parishes. The transcripts are added to the VCH Explore pages. The original wills are photographed digitally and cds of images given to each volunteer, who is allocated a number of wills. Volunteers work at home at their own pace, but meet monthly in Ledbury to discuss progress and put their heads together over puzzles. To join this group, experience of reading Tudor and Stuart handwriting would be advantageous, though some ongoing training is given.

Parish Digests

A few experienced volunteers have begun collating historic data on a number of parishes, with the intention of publishing ‘Jubilee Digests’ on line. The material will form part of the eventual VCH parish history. The volunteers work with a template and list of sources to consult. The completed form is returned to the Team Leader who checks it before publishing it on the website. If you have research experience, can work accurately on your own and can access the Local Studies Library and Record Office in Hereford, this project may be for you.

PARTICULAR VCH NEEDS

VCH Herefordshire would like to recruit individuals with good historical research and writing experience (preferably at post-graduate level) to help with research and writing either covering specific topics (e.g. poor relief, education, economic history, architecture) for a parish or group of parishes, or researching and writing a parish history, under the guidance of the Team Leader. 

Help with administration, including maintenance of the website, would also be much appreciated.

OTHER WAYS OF HELPING

VCH Herefordshire urgently needs help with fundraising, including planning and running events. Anyone with skills in these areas would be welcomed with open arms.

If you are interested in voluntary work for the VCH, whether as a researcher, a member of a research group, or in an administrative or fundraising capacity, please contact the Treasurer, Jonathan Comber, giving details of your interests, skills, qualifications and location.

 To read about some of the experiences of volunteers with the VCH ‘England’s Past for Everyone’ project (including a Herefordshire volunteer), see Why We Got Involved and see volunteers at work in the Volunteer Gallery.

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