NEWS15 March 2011

English Heritage picks BritainThinks for volunteering research

New business UK

UK— BritainThinks, the consultancy set up by Opinion Leader co-founders Viki Cooke and Deborah Mattinson, has been appointed by English Heritage to run a study on volunteering.

The project was commissioned by English Heritage on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum (HEF), a network of bodies dedicated to identifying opportunities for work programmes on historic sites. The research will focus on ways in which HEF and local groups can increase community involvement in historic environmental issues.

BritainThinks will hold focus groups in Leicestershire and West Yorkshire, and some respondents will be asked to volunteer for HEF-related projects. These repondents will then report back on their experiences through a deliberative workshop with members of local community groups, the aim of which will be to develop ways to encourage volunteering.

Deborah Mattinson said: “Our proprietary research tells us that there are a large number of people who are open to volunteering and getting involved in groups interested in the historic environment, but don’t. Our aim is to supply HEF members and local groups with an ‘action plan’ to boost involvement in the long term, generating genuine community engagement in the local environment.”