Volunteer with the AHF
If you're looking for a way to support the AHF's work and vision, then we are always looking for volunteers to help us. Your time and skills could be very valuable to help us deliver our mission to support communities enjoy and benefit from the cultural, social and economic values of vibrant and well-managed architectural heritage.
If you're interested, please Contact Us and we'll try to find a role that suits your interests and skills. In return for your time, energy and enthusiasm, we hope to give you an opportunity to develop your interests and skills and to make a real and important contribution to our aims.
Here's what Megan Stanford had to say about her experiences working with us for two months over the summer of 2016:
I am just finishing up a two-month placement in an intern role with the AHF. I am from Austin, Texas, but have been spending this summer in London. This autumn, I will be completing my last year of undergraduate study at The University of Texas, where I am taking a degree in Geography. Although I haven’t studied architecture at school, I have a real passion for it and particularly in the history behind it. These interests attracted me to the AHF and its focus on the importance of conserving buildings integral to the UK’s communities and heritage. I’ve learned a huge amount since I started working at the AHF and a lot of invaluable skills that I will surely use in my future career.
I stumbled across the AHF in trying to find an organisation that was about the conservation of architectural heritage, something I am interested in but didn’t know too much about. I have now learned a great deal – about all of the paperwork, money and funding, and the network of heritage charities in the UK. I’ve also learned about the hands-on side of this field, such as the actual process of conserving historic buildings.
During my time at the AHF, I have been pulling together data, calling clients, updating contact information and building information in the AHF’s database, and various other tasks such as making Excel spreadsheets to compile data. Most importantly, the AHF has recently produced a social impact survey to capture the impact our current and former clients have had on their local communities. I’ve been a big part of that in reaching out to those clients so we can get valuable feedback, and in turn, show the value of the AHF and the public benefit of investing in heritage.
In addition to working in the AHF’s London office, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to various places in England. I went to a project site visit in Kidderminster with Andy, the AHF’s Investment Manager, where I was able to see a building in the process of being restored, and hear from the construction manager about the techniques they’re using to stay true to the building’s original character. I also attended a meeting in Manchester with Lucie, one of the AHF’s Support Officers, where Manchester City Council ran a workshop for people who are interested in forming an organisation to take on the responsibility of acquiring and restoring a historic building which they love. In June, I attended the AHF Board meeting where the trustees discussed and awarded grants and loans, and debated other administrative and logistical things about the organisation, such as plans for the next quarter. I was also fortunate to attend a meeting with Ian Morrison, AHF’s Chief Executive, at the Houses of Parliament about the future of the UK’s Industrial Heritage.
In July, I visited Ripon Cathedral with Ian Morrison and the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England, where I was able to meet the people who want to revamp their wonderful medieval cathedral and hear their plans, so again I saw a different side of the conservation world. Another great opportunity I had was when I joined the Society for the Protection of Ancient Building’s working party in Greatham, where I worked with other volunteers and helped in various hands-on tasks. I helped with soft-capping the old church, and a stone mason showed me how to plug holes in between the stones of the newer church building, all of which I enjoyed very much.
During my time here at the AHF, I have experienced a wide range of heritage issues and projects. I also now have a better understanding of how heritage charities can make a real and meaningful difference to their communities. Although often underappreciated, they are vitally important organisations, not only for people alive today, but especially for future generations who will be able to love and enjoy their communities’ histories and heritage.
I have very much enjoyed my time with the AHF, as the values of the organisation are things that I believe in as well. I really enjoyed my co-workers and appreciate how they have helped me grow and advance my skills. I’ve had the opportunity of meeting many wonderful people that I would not have had the chance to interact with were it not for the AHF. The AHF was very willing to help meet my needs as well, for example, if I wanted to learn a skill I could work on something that would help advance that.
The opportunities I now have as a result of working with the AHF are plentiful, and I hope to either further my studies in the field related to architectural conservation and/or pursue a career in it. I have enjoyed reading about and hearing the stories that people shared in relation to the projects the AHF has supported over the years.
I feel like I’ve done a great deal of important and useful work during my time here and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the AHF’s team and their mission, even though it was only for a short time.