As an organisation, The Arts Society encourages its members to work as volunteers on heritage conservation projects.

In Kingston upon Thames, we have a Heritage Volunteers’ Representative who helps interested members to find  projects to which they can contribute. Projects can be short or longer term and are in a wide variety of organisations. Activities currently include book and document conservation, cataloguing archives and stewarding or guiding in museums. Training and support from professional staff is usually provided for new volunteers. Our members report that their work is much appreciated, as well as being interesting and rewarding. Projects involving a group of volunteers also have a sociable element.

Click here for the latest Heritage Volunteer opportunities

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Church recording - a new collaboration

In 2019 The Chair of the Arts Society Richmond contacted the Committee of our Society to ask if we could provide some volunteers to help their group who had been involved in carrying out an official Church Record at St Mary with St Alban in Teddington. Some members of the Richmond Group were not able to finish the project and so they thought of asking the Kingston Society as their close neighbours to help. This idea was willingly accepted and a small group of our members took up this opportunity.

Church Recording involves working with one or more partners within a group and recording one of many aspects of a church – e.g. the wood carvings, the plate, the stonework, windows and memorials etc. When the task has been completed the Record is collated. A copy is kept by the church and one goes to each of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Church House. The finished record also goes to the London Metropolitan Archive (the local county library) and Historic England.

The Record is invaluable as, among other benefits, things that are damaged or broken in the church can be replaced as before.

Three volunteers from The Arts Society Kingston have been working on describing the windows. They are guided and advised by a very experienced leader, use photography and reference books, and are also encouraged to use online resources to research the life and the families of the donors and the dedicatees. It has been a very interesting and sociable experience. Our next task is to describe the memorials, of which there are many.

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One project was on the transcribing of Red Cross VAD cards from WW1 online, a report on the work can be seen at: