On Tuesday 2nd June, the School of History hosted staff and volunteers from around twenty local museums and heritage organisations, for the first of what is hoped to be an annual Museums and Heritage Networking and Volunteering Day. This event was organised in collaboration with the South East Museum Development Programme.
The aim of this event was to bring museum staff from the local area to campus and provide them with an opportunity to find out about what the School and the University does to help our students develop their employability skills, and to showcase how our students might be able to support them and their projects through work experience placements, volunteering, and internships. They also came for a chance to meet with current Kent students who are interested in undertaking volunteering opportunities in the heritage sector.
Groups from across Kent came along, including staff from national organisations such as the National Trust and English Heritage, to local museums and groups such as the Powell-Cotton Museum at Birchington, the RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum, and the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. Delegates listened to talks from Kent Union about how it trains its volunteers, from the National Trust about their experience working with volunteers (the organisation has over 70,000 volunteers nationally!), and to staff from the University about how and why they could and should engage with the University and our students.
The event was a great success, particularly the main event of the day, the networking lunch. Students and staff met and discussed the interests and ways in which they could benefit one another in the future, and we look forward to seeing what opportunities develop out of these conversations.
All the talks and contact details for the speakers are listed on the South East Museum Development Programme’s website.
The School is always interested in engaging with groups and organisations in order to benefit our students, and to help our students discover ways to enhance their employability prospects through volunteering and work experience. If you would like to get involved with the School, please contact Jon Beer via email (J.Beer@kent.ac.uk) or by telephone (01227 827339).