English Heritage photographer James Davies and the Burford volunteers

The role of volunteers in the project

Central to the mission statement of the England's Past for Everyone project, was the direct involvement of local communities in the generation of the history of their locality.  As such volunteer groups participated in a range of research activities during the life of the project.  The volunteers received expert training from professional historians, archaeologists, photographers and surveyors and the EPE staff in the localities were able to cover a far greater quantity of sources thanks to the wealth of data provided by the volunteers. 

The EPE project afforded the opportunity for participation in a wide range of research activities and between 2005 and 2010 volunteers undertook: census analysis, transcription of probate material, examining historic newspaper entries, historic buildings analysis, village surveys, measured building surveys, landscape recording, archaeological excavation, recording of oral history testimonies, photography and mounting web content.  To see some of the EPE volunteers in action, visit our Volunteer Gallery or to read about their experiences in their own words visit Why We Got Involved

In October 2009 as EPE approached its conclusion, the project staged a large conference at Armada House in Bristol to celebrate the learning and outreach programme which had been so integral to the success of EPE.  To learn more about this conference, view photographs from the event and download the slides and presentations from the event, visit our Conference 2009 page.

If you are considering working with volunteers and community groups in your own projects, pleas download and use our Volunteer Toolkit to help you set up, market, manage and evaluate your volunteer programmes through best practice: