I co-ordinated the various organisations who were opening their buildings, organised marketing materials and some of the publicity, dealt with Council admin and volunteered over the weekend itself. Each event could not have happened without the enthusiasm and expertise of the local volunteers and staff.
Why we take part
Heritage Open Days engages local people in Swindon’s history and encourages them to take pride in their town and its story. Historic buildings need people to use them, appreciate them and take care of them. HODs draws people into buildings, engages them in the backstories of the people who built them and ultimately keeps the buildings alive for another generation. The extra beauty of HODs is that it is a national event organised by the National Trust with its own recognisable branding which helps enormously with marketing.
What we do for HODs
The difference it makes
Participating this year brought people together that hadn’t necessarily worked together before and helped us all to see that we are part of a collective history and a collective future. HODs was great for bringing in new volunteers who could support a local activity for the first time in the knowledge that they were participating in a national event.
I really enjoyed my time spent volunteering for HODs, it was fantastic to see Swindon's vast heritage come to life in new ways. The HODs really helped to raise awareness of and impart new knowledge about Swindon's heritage to a wider audience. I'm really looking forward to being involved with the next one!
Favourite moments and visitor response
Karen's top tip!
Start making plans early in the year, especially with writing marketing materials.