5. Members and volunteers

Introduction

Training and learning are important to any group that wants to support its members and ensure its development and growth. Investment in training and learning will help your group to stay up to date, learn new applicable skills and make your members and volunteers feel valued – hopefully ensuring their commitment to your activities.

Training and learning can be both formal and informal. Each group will have their own ways of working and it will be important that new members and volunteers are able to contribute to the group in the right way. An introduction to meetings times, group structure etc. would be an example of informal training. If there are new activities that a group would like to undertake but members do not have the specific skills required (for example recording oral histories) then it will be useful for either the whole group or selected members to undertake formal training so they can apply these skills and keep up a good standard of practice.

Community heritage groups are not static entities, they are busy and changing all the time. These groups exist to preserve important information about a locality, location or community through collecting and learning. The best way to support this atmosphere is by placing learning and training at the heart of your group’s activities so you can continue to grow and reach out to new people.

Learning benchmarks

By the end of this section you will:

  • Understand how training underpins the development of your group
  • Know where to look for training opportunities and what training is needed for whom.
  • Know practical steps that you can actively take to raise your group’s profile.

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