R E V I E W 19 THE VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING CHARLES STRANG Charles Strang has played an active role BT B DPOTFSWBUJPO BSDIJUFDU BOE UPXO planner in several professional bodies and organisations over many years. For the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) he has served as a council member and as the convenor for several RIAS committees JODMVEJOH IPVTJOH BOE UPXO QMBOOJOH conservation and the building conservation accreditation panel. He is the author of the RIAS Illustrated Architectural Guide to the Scottish Borders and Berwick-upon- Tweed and is currently the assessor for its Scottish Community Projects Fund. Other conservation work has included volunteering as a caseworker for the Scottish Georgian Society (now the AHSS), as secretary of the Historic Burghs Association of Scotland, and as a member of the RTPI Conservation in the Built Environment Panel. He was also 7JDF $IBJS 4DPUUJTI &OWJSPONFOU -*/, For the IHBC he has served as convenor for the IHBC Scotland branch and is currently a member of Council as well as chair of IHBC Communications & Outreach Committee. Other current posts include: r Member, Edinburgh Urban Design Panel (representing RTPIS) r .FNCFS $SPTT QBSUZ HSPVQ on Architecture and the Built Environment, Scottish Parliament r Convenor, Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland r APRS Representative, Built Environment Forum Scotland r Volunteer, Planning Aid for Scotland r Trustee, Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust r Executive Committee Member, Scottish Campaign for National Parks. Certainly in its widest sense the voluntary approach is important to the conservation of the built environment, as this edition of the Yearbook amply demonstrates. It’s so important to the IHBC that volunteering even features in the institute’s second corporate QMBO BOE BDUJPO QSPHSBNNF o "(. agreed and subsequently the subject of numerous director’s blogs. 5IF *)#$ BOE JUT NVDI MPWFE parent the Association of Conservation O!cers have been utterly dependent on the voluntary time of members at branch, national and UK levels. Our time has been given, over many ZFBST CFDBVTF JG XF EPO U EP JU OP POF else will. We share good practice, learn from each other, share common concerns and address them, and TFF IPX BOE IPX OPU UP SVO BMM aspects of an organisation’s meetings and mechanisms. There are always opportunities to take active part and make a di"erence. Some of this stu" is a necessary evil, but tackling it in the company of friends makes it almost bearable and new skills can be EFWFMPQFE TPNFUJNFT VOFYQFDUFEMZ You get the institute you contribute to. So not only should you and I be making suggestions for branch and regional events of our professional body, we should be getting involved in setting up and running them, and the branch too. As well as getting more IBOET PO DPOTFSWBUJPO FYQFSJFODF we learn from others, many of whom will have something we can directly apply, and others will learn from us, finding ways to do things better because of something we share. Then there’s the stu" they probably teach at Harvard Business School, which you can pick up without having to pay the tuition fees: how to operate as a member of a professional HSPVQ BOE PDDBTJPOBMMZ IPX OPU UP IPX UP SVO DPNNJUUFF NFFUJOHT IJOU this may be easier if you don’t hold the meetings in library or museum SFBEJOH SPPN TFUUJOHT XIFSF UIF acoustics have been painstakingly designed to minimise or preclude Charles Strang leads an IHBC ‘Branch Connections’ day in November 2011: the added value of our volunteers is estimated at about the full time equivalent of ten sta#. (Photo: Fiona Newton) Well no, I didn’t volunteer for this keynote slot, and especially not for my boxed-out volunteering ‘profile’ to be splashed all over the Yearbook . One reader will think me the most uncommercial and exploited ‘consultant’ he has ever come across, while the other will feel no doubt that I should get a life! Is this volunteering mere displacement activity, the demonstration of an enquiring mind in action, a particularly subtle marketing campaign or, NZ QSFGFSFODF FYQBOEJOH UIF frontiers of civilisation?