The Rowlands Castle Heritage Centre offers opportunities to strengthen the community by supporting collaboration between local organisations, clubs and societies. Furthermore, it also offers individuals both shorter and longer-term opportunities for volunteering, to take part individually or collectively in discovering and exploring our history, culture and attractive environment. The experience can be surprising, satisfying and enjoyable, both practically and socially.
All are welcome to join in and take part as they feel appropriate, and equally free to withdraw temporarily or permanently in the light of personal, family or other priorities and circumstances.
What we do is varied, sometimes uncharted, interesting and often stimulating. Volunteers may become involved for a one-off project like documenting ‘The Brickworks’ – or for using their personal skills as treasurer or computer user or photographer for our website – or taking part in the medium to longer-term administration through membership of working groups.
You could be involved in a solo research activity – researching and drafting an article for the website, for example, or become a member of an informal working group which meets periodically, but sometimes at its own discretion as a ‘virtual group’ communicating by phone or emails.
Importantly, while concerned at maintaining a sense of belonging, we believe that you should feel free to withdraw or be unavailable, even at short notice, without a sense of ‘letting us down’. You will also be welcome back, if you feel that is what is right for you.
Work – Our business
At the same time as supporting individual volunteers in finding a task that is personally rewarding, the Centre has also work to do in seeking to record, interpret and educate one another in our local history and environment so that we might all become more aware and feel more responsible for it.
The Centre is a registered charity which has committed to meet certain high standards. These standards can be a source of pride – such as our model railway.
As a charity, The Heritage Centre has a Board of up to eleven trustees or ‘members’ invited and voted because of their special interests, skills or experience. The Board meets formally three times a year, and one further time informally. The Board will be quorate at a number as low as three. The Trustees activities are set out in a written ‘constitution’ available for viewing on our website under About Us
In addition to the Board, other groups meet to conduct the Centre’s business, and make decisions to confirm our direction:
- The Management Working Group – meets monthly
- The Model Railway Working Group – meets as necessary
- The Website Development Group meets informally but conducts most of its business by email
Other groups will be necessary in due course, including:
- A Collections or Archive Development Group and
- A Funding Group
- A Research Co-ordination Group
While recognising it is unlikely that all volunteers will attend all their respective meetings, it is assumed that meetings, once convened, should proceed as planned, so that the Centre’s work can continue, and progress can be made.
So, while allowing volunteers the greatest freedom to pursue their own interests, we will also practice ‘business disciplines’ to conduct our work.
Your own thoughts will be welcome