Helping you unlock the power of heritage volunteering

HVG Statement on Sector Job Losses

The Heritage Volunteering Group (HVG) provides, leadership, support and opportunities for skill-sharing to those who lead and manage volunteers. We recognise the critical point many organisations in the heritage sector have reached and that a highly damaging round of redundancies and restructures is upon us, with repercussions set to stretch throughout the coming months.

We know that job displacement by volunteers is not the answer and we do not endorse ill-considered and rushed decisions to bring in volunteers as a cost-saving measure. Volunteering in the sector is a powerful and transformational force when volunteers are managed by experienced Volunteer Managers who deploy them effectively. They can help operationally and strategically, without posing a threat to paid jobs, and in ways that help retain paid positions.

That is why we are re-issuing our letter to sector leaders to pay heed to their Volunteer Managers, so that organisations can maximise the impact their volunteers make, enabling them to provide real operational and strategic support without being perceived as a threat to those who are facing potential job losses.

We stand in solidarity with the sector’s wider workforce and believe in the power of volunteering to help build a brighter future for all of us.

Volunteer Redeployment Resources

With many museums now beginning to plan their reopening, many of you will be starting to consider the remobilisation of your volunteers. To support you with this we have developed the following:

  • Redeployment Framework: this document helps bring together all your thinking about each of your roles in a single resource
  • Redeployment Survey: these example questions are designed to help you understand expected return rates and peoples’ concerns about returning to site

To help you understand and use these tools, we have also prepared this short video. We advise that these documents are amended for your own context and that you take advice about collecting and storing sensitive information. Alongside this, we are delighted be able to share with you the following resources, which we hope we will support you with the remobilisation of your volunteers:

  • Volunteer Remobilisation Survey Results: Conducted in July 2020, this survey provides you with data on volunteer’s willingness and ability to return and the quality of support they received during Covid-19
  • Return to Volunteering Flow Chart: The document is designed to help volunteers make the right choice about whether or not they should return to volunteering and was created by Caroline Chestnutt
  • Welcome Back Training: This video, by Niki Hughes, provides a great example of the sort of training to provide volunteers with when they return

If you have anything you’d like us to share, please get in touch.