‘Volunteers week began yesterday. This is a perfect opportunity for me to thank you, our large team of volunteers on my own behalf, that of my fellow officers and the other trustees for your lasting contribution to the extensive services we provide our members.
Your hard work makes it possible for us to deliver our principal aims of preserving records and promoting family history research. It does not go unnoticed.
We have all endured a very difficult period which has often restricted volunteer opportunities. Fortunately, with commitment and ingenuity, it has been possible to continue to perform many tasks from home and I applaud those who were able to do that.
I commiserate with others for whom, because of restrictions, it has not be possible to make their regular contribution, and I trust it will not be much longer before you can resume your roles.
I wish you and your families the best of health as we emerge from the latest lockdown. I am so thankful that we have such a committed and willing band of volunteers.
Chairman, Manchester & Lancashire FHS’
Volunteers formed the society in 1964 and succeeding generations of volunteers have developed its contribution to members and the general public to the present day.
At any given time over one hundred members are involved in some aspect of our activities whether in running the society or in transcribing, scanning and indexing documentary material for one of the society’s many projects.
We therefore welcome new volunteers and encourage members to get involved in whatever way their circumstances allow. Our needs vary from time to time, but details of some of the volunteer roles are explained below, with hints as to the kind of contribution you can make. You will find a list of our current vacancies at the end of this article.
An Executive Committee of trustees elected at the Annual General Meeting [AGM] manages the society. When vacancies occur, any member may seek nomination for election. Do you have experience of managing a charity or other organisation or do you have ideas about how you would like the society to develop?
Nominations require the support of two paid-up members and must be submitted to the General Secretary not less than28 days before the first day of the month in which the AGM is to be held. In practice, as the AGM is usually held in April, this means a deadline of 3 March.
Teams of volunteers staff our Helpdesk at Central Library providing valuable assistance to members and the public alike and in the process expand their own knowledge of research resources and methods. From time to time we need to add to our established team. Full training will be given.
Our established team of administrators deal with the enrolment of several hundred new members each year and the renewal of over 2,000 memberships. The team also attends to general office work including copying and filing. Occasionally we need to bring in new volunteers to add to the team. Do you have experience of working in an office or basic computer and office skills?
Volunteers set up the projector and public address systems at our society and branch meetings, check in the attendees, staff the book stall or simply welcome visitors as they arrive. We like to print a summary of each talk in the Manchester Genealogist- volunteers do this too. Volunteers organise visits by members to other archives and places of interest. Could you take on one of these tasks? Perhaps you have a special interest you would like to give a talk about?
There is almost always a project looking for a volunteer and if there isn’t, we will always do our best to create one! Almost all members could take on projects. Some projects do require that you can, regularly, work on-site at Manchester Central Library or another location, but we increasingly use home workers to transcribe from digitised documents-all that is need is a computer, some basic software and an email account. We particularly welcome volunteers who are prepared to manage a team of volunteers.
Perhaps you have a project you would like to see us undertake? We welcome proposals for projects and can support you with technical help, to find volunteers and even, if necessary, with financial support
As new technology opens up new possibilities, you may be asking "Why don't you ... provide educational videos?", "Why don't you ... hold online meetings?" or "Why don't you ... do this thing that I know about but you don't seem to?". If you have a special skill, which you could employ to make us a better society, then we will be very happy to talk about it.
If you are interested in learning more about any volunteer role, please use the Contact Us form to contact the General Secretary.
Just at the moment, because of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on work, travel and life in general, we are not advertising any specific vacancies that we need to filled. As soon as the general position becomes clearer we will reassess the society’s needs and post here details of any specific roles that we would like to fill.