A volunteer's perspective

I arrived in London last September for my master’s degree and started volunteering at the Canal & River Trust shortly after. I study Cultural Heritage at UCL, and wanted to volunteer in an organisation where I could put into practice what I was learning. The Canal & River Trust had posted an ad in the UCL Volunteering website and that’s how it all started.

I volunteered with Florence Salberter on the Listed Building Consent Order initial public announcement, and on developing material for the forthcoming consultation. We developed content for the stakeholders in order to help them understand the issues linked to LBCO and reassure them “Yes, we will still care about the heritage!”

Infographics, video and web pages offered many occasions to share our messages and values. I also created a database of the stakeholders on this project, focusing firstly on the local authorities: a good occasion to learn about English geography!

The work I did at the Canal & River Trust matched well with my courses. When we discussed public consultation as a best practice for the management of archaeological sites, I knew exactly what it meant. When I had to choose a case study for my “Heritage, development and globalisation” course, I focused on the King’s Cross development project in London where the Regent’s Canal is an important feature of the site.

I have learned a lot over those past months, it has been a great experience for me. Volunteering and getting hands-on experience is really something every student should do. I faced real issues and was able to combine theory and practice, as I hoped I would.

Thank you Florence for taking me on-board!

Arantxa Vaillant,
Volunteer Heritage Assistant

Last date edited: 28 April 2014

About this blog

Heritage team

The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.

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