The Organiser Panel brings together committed participants from across the country to help the national team shape the development and delivery of the programme.
Members share their expertise, experience and networks, ensuring the programme continues to celebrate, support and highlight local heritage and culture.
From: Social Media team
Been involved since: 2014
Role: I have helped to run the Heritage Open Days Twitter account for the last 2 years. Our main priorities are keeping everyone updated with our news, attracting new visitors and helping local events to publicise themselves through social media. I manage a team at a PR company in London for a living.
Interests: I am keen to encourage more families and young people to attend HODs events, and would like to see these kind of visitors influence the kind of events that are organised. I believe that HODs can become a 'must see' for all children.
Organisation: Heritage Lincolnshire
Been involved since: 2014
Role: As Cultural Events Officer I manage the HODs festival in Lincolnshire. I’m supported by our office-based volunteer Ray Knight, a Caucus and Steering group, and an army of over 700 committed volunteers who tirelessly bring heritage to life across our huge county.
Interests: I’m passionate about engaging new audiences by keeping things fresh, trying out new technologies and building partnerships. Heritage Lincolnshire has been involved in HODs for 22 years and I’m always on the lookout for new organisations and venues that might be interested in participating!
From: The Forum Trust
Been involved since: 2016
Role: I’m the Project Coordinator at the Forum Trust which coordinates HODs events in Norfolk - one of the largest programmes in England. My role is to help local organisers with registration, provide operational support and to publicise the festival in our region.
Interests: Helping people to access, appreciate and learn more about their local heritage. I love that the Heritage Open Days festival enables us to really get to know the place where we live. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to work with my community to make this happen.
From: Bristol Doors Open Day (The Architecture Centre)
Been involved since: 2012
Role: I am the Centre Manager at the Architecture Centre, Bristol. In 2014 we took over organising Bristol Doors Open Day – one of the biggest Heritage Open Days in the country.
Interests: My role is all about engaging diverse audiences with the built environment. I am passionate about bringing people and places together and particularly keen to try new things so we can continually surprise people and encourage new audiences to get involved.
From: Thanet District Council
Been involved since: 2015 in current role
Role: I am a Heritage Engagement Officer working on a project to increase heritage led tourism in the area. I have been looking at ways to expand and improve the HODs offer and am now working in partnership with a local civic society to take this forward.
Interests: I am a very keen supporter and advocate of HOD, they are the main opportunity each year for the heritage sector to really combine our fantastic expertise and hugely popular offer, whether large or small, national or local, and really engage with as many people as possible.
From: Newcastle City Council
Been involved since: I've been involved in European Heritage Days since 1994: Open Doors Day in Scotland (1994-1996), HODs in Gateshead (1996-2001), HODs in Newcastle and Tyne & Wear (2001-present).
Role: I organise the Newcastle HODs contacting sites, assisting with registration and promotion. I also coordinate the event across Tyne & Wear; chairing the regional Steering Group, co-ordinating the registration process and marketing.
Interests: Increasing the variety of local HODs activities and improving the visitor experience, alongside enhancing and developing new ways of marketing the event. The aim is to attract a higher number and wider range of visitors who at the end of the weekend know more about the rich heritage and culture of Tyne & Wear.
From: Berwick Time Lines
Been involved since: 2004
Role: Originally a participant only, I have been involved in organising HODs in Berwick-upon-Tweed since 2009 and was one of the original team of HODs community bloggers. These days, I co-ordinate the other groups and individuals taking part and try to encourage new venues to join in. .
Interests: I write a blog (Berwick Time Lines) in which I try to explain Berwick’s rich history and welcome people’s questions—I like to be tested! I love looking at old stories afresh, researching the town’s buildings in particular and discovering things others have missed. I have written a book about the medieval defences and claim to be the last person to use a siege engine against Berwick Castle.
From: Hull Civic Society
Role: I organise HODS in Hull with my wife Christine. We raise the necessary funding and develop the programme which involves about fifty local companies, the City Council, over 100 events, with about fifty open heritage properties and, importantly, about 200 volunteers.
Interests: Holidays in France, caravanning, construction projects and working to achieve the Civic Society’s motto of ‘helping to make Hull a better place to live, work, play, visit and invest in – which it already is!
From: Oswestry Town Museum
Been involved since: c.2010
Role: I am chair of the Oswestry Heritage Forum - a group of heritage organisations and people who have come together to support each other for HODS and at other times during the year; and Trustee of Oswestry Town Museum - I set up 4 years ago following our first successful HOD display.
Interests: As a Foster parent for over 20 years I am interested in exploring new ways of involving children of all ages in exploring, researching and enjoying heritage. I am firmly committed to the HODs principles, look forward each year to delivering the programme locally and love setting challenging targets to make each one better than the last.
From: Leeds Civic Trust
Been involved since: 2007
Role: I help the Trust's Chair to organise HODs for the Leeds area. We are both volunteers and are supported by our Office Administrator. My main role is to identify, recruit and support new openers; I also encourage and support previous openers to take part again.
Interests: My mantra for HODs is that our programme should aim to educate, enlighten and entertain; the challenge is to reach the widest possible audience! I enjoy finding new events for our visitors including all kinds of buildings that are not usually accessible and walks and talks that encourage a visit to previously unfamiliar locations, communities and topics.
From: The Reader
Been involved since: 2005
Role: I recruit, train and coordinate volunteers to assist with HODs in Calderstones Park, Liverpool. This involves two sites, a Grade II listed Mansion House and a prehistoric megalithic monument.
Interests: I believe heritage is a vital tool for connecting communities and strengthening bonds between local people and groups. I am interested in how HODs can be used to create links between heritage and community groups; how it can bring generations together; and how an appreciation of heritage can be encouraged with younger people.
From: Oxford Preservation Trust (Oxford Open Doors)
Been involved since: 2016
Role: I organise Oxford Open Doors on behalf of Oxford Preservation Trust. It is one of the largest Heritage Open Days events in the country and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017.
Interests: Supported by our partnership with the University of Oxford, our aim is to open as much of Oxford to the people of Oxfordshire as possible, so that they can experience their City’s rich history and culture across both town and gown. We are passionate at the Trust about engaging with a variety of different audiences and are particularly keen to engage more with families and young people. We also love to be able to offer something different each year as there is always something new to discover.