Heritage Fund backs digital volunteering - Museums Association

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Heritage Fund backs digital volunteering

£1m programme supporting 17 UK projects, including museum-led initiatives
Digital Volunteers
A project at Barnsley Archives
A project at Barnsley Archives National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a range of grants to support digital volunteering in heritage sector.

The £1m programme has given money to 17 projects that will support volunteers to develop and share their digital skills. The funding is part of the Heritage Fund’s £3.5m Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, which aims to raise digital skills and confidence across the UK heritage sector.

“Thanks to National Lottery players we are delighted to support these trailblazing projects as they create exciting new digital volunteering opportunities, helping to break down barriers and inspire the sector to get even more people involved in the heritage they love,” said Heritage Fund CEO Ros Kerslake.

The Heritage Fund programme, which aims to champion accessibility, inclusion and new ways of working, will support hundreds of digital volunteers.

Among those to benefit are consultancy VocalEyes, which has been given nearly £100,000 to recruit digital volunteers primarily from the deaf, disabled and neurodivergent communities to help increase inclusion at heritage sites.

Nerve Centre, in collaboration with the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, has nearly £94,000 to support volunteers to tag and archive material relating to a range of topics, including migration. The project will offer volunteer opportunities to LGBTQ+ consortiums, disability action groups, young people and people from minority ethnic backgrounds to add new perspectives to the archives.

Other projects will see volunteers help make heritage sites and their collections more digitally accessible for everyone. Barnsley Council, Glasgow Women’s Library, Manchester Museum, Portland Museum Trust and the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust in Brighton and Hove are among those taking part.

The Heritage Fund’s 2020 Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage survey and report identified an appetite to develop digital skills across the sector and informed the Digital Skills for Heritage programme.

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