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Welcome to Convestival 2017

And we’re off… I’m delighted to officially launch Convestival 2017 and particularly pleased to announce that all of the event this year will focus on diversity in volunteering.

This is such an important topic not just for volunteering, but for the Trust as a whole, and if you were there last year you will remember that when I closed the event I made a commitment to focussing more of our attention and resources on this.  Convestival 2017 is all about how we can make National Trust volunteering for everyone.

To diversify our volunteer base will be challenging (any review of the data on volunteering in the UK, and particularly data on volunteering in heritage and conservation will tell us that) but it’s also an enormous and exciting opportunity.  And it’s the right thing to do.

And we do have loads of examples of good practice to learn from – lots of our places are already doing great work on this – and as usual a core part of the Convestival agenda will be about learning from each other and with each other.

This year we’ll also be broadening our focus to think about other ways in which people can participate with us and thinking about how newer forms of volunteering and participation may be particularly helpful in attracting a more diverse range of people.

We’re aiming for our 2017 programme to continue the Convestival tradition of a brilliant balance of support and challenge, inspiration and education.  And all of this is underpinned by our commitment to continuing to develop a strong network of peer support, building a professional community of volunteer managers and leaders.  They’ll probably also be some cider and some dancing, but hopefully less rain than last year.

I’m really looking forward to it and hope to see you there.

Helen

Helen Timbrell
Volunteering & Participation Director