2012 Yearbook

R E V I E W 21 VOLUNTEERING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT JOHN YATES John Yates has been a historic buildings inspector at English Heritage since 1989. He began volunteering in conservation in the early 1970s when he was one of the Kew Bridge Engines team, opening this historic pumping station as a museum and restoring the beam engines to working order BO FYQFSJFODF IF EFTDSJCFT BT AXBLJOH UIF EJOPTBVST Since then he has been involved in two distinct areas of volunteering, canals and the IHBC. In the institute he served as IHBC chair from 2004 to 2007 after a spell chairing the West Midlands branch. His canal volunteering included setting VQ B NPPSJOHT DP PQFSBUJWF JO -POEPO BOE chairing the Historic Narrow Boat Owners Club (now the Historic Narrow Boat Club). .PSF SFDFOUMZ IJT IBOET PO WPMVOUFFSJOH has included helping to move the restored IJTUPSJD GMZCPBU A4BUVSO GSPN QMBDF UP QMBDF His volunteering has involved ever more committees as the canals move to the voluntary sector, including chairing the trust that owns most of the National Waterways .VTFVN T DPMMFDUJPO )F IBT SFDFOUMZ CFFO nominated by the IHBC to represent historic environment interests on the council of the newly founded Canal & River Trust. The providers of most volunteering opportunities other than internship rarely deliberately structure the work around professional development, so it is up to the volunteer to define and record it. People usually select their volunteering on the basis of their own values and interests and it is at this point that they can also take into account the professional development potential of the work. This is where the IHBC member’s Professional Development Plan kicks in, with an analysis of the member’s strengths and weaknesses in the IHBC’s eight areas of competence: philosophy; practice; history; research, recording and analysis; legislation and policy; finance and economics; design and presentation; and technology. 'PS FYBNQMF QFPQMF XIPTF QBJE employment involves a lot of detailed work on design and specification may welcome the opportunity to ‘zoom out’ and take volunteering roles that work on broader strategy and policy. Conversely, those who spend their working days on high level strategy can volunteer to ‘zoom JO UP IBOET PO DPOTFSWBUJPO XPSL 5BLFO UP FYUSFNFT UIFSF T B EBOHFS of amateurism here. To be useful, a volunteer should be operating within at least the fringes of his or IFS FYQFSUJTF SBUIFS UIBO DPNQMFUFMZ outside it. However, there is a wide range of volunteering opportunities out there, from the leadership and managerial to the starkly practical. -FU T MPPL BU TPNF FYBNQMFT The historic environment sector has a long and heroic tradition PG WPMVOUFFSJOH POF UIBU QSF EBUFT UIF öôUI DFOUVSZ BSSJWBM PG the conservation professional and continues to accompany it. Nowhere is that more visible than in the national amenity societies. Until they became formal consultees in the planning process, they were almost entirely voluntary, perhaps with a paid secretary. Now they have paid sta" including caseworkers, but they TUJMM SFMZ IFBWJMZ PO UIF FYQFSUJTF PG volunteers to populate their committees and sometimes to act as local correspondents and representatives. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings makes frequent VTF PG FYQFSU WPMVOUFFST BT DPNNJUUFF members, lecturers, and representatives for specific tasks. The Ancient .POVNFOUT 4PDJFUZ ".4 JT OPX less reliant on its legendary network of local correspondents, because so much electronic information comes Volunteering will almost always bring professional development but it generally does so as a by-product of the activity rather than as its principal purpose. After all, heritage and environmental volunteering are intrinsically altruistic and benevolent, so volunteering entirely for professional development could be seen as going against the spirit of it, a throw-back to the ‘me’ years of the individualistic &'(%s. However, volunteering does not FYJTU JO BO FDPOPNJD QPMJUJDBM PS moral vacuum. Present economic circumstances often mean that those in employment are working harder and longer while others cannot find work or are delaying their entry into the world of employment. The volunteer phenomenon of the early ($st century is the intern, and he or she is usually the only kind of WPMVOUFFS GPS XIPN UIFSF JT FYUFSOBMMZ structured professional development. The author using his historic narrow boat ‘Buckden’ to tow historic $yboat ‘Saturn’, which was restored and is run by an educational charity (Photo: Bob Jervis)