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Celebrating the heritage of 40 years of volunteering in Nottingham 1977 - 2017

This project set out to capture the stories of people who are volunteers or who had been volunteers in the 40 years since Nottingham’s Volunteer Centre was set up within NCVS.

Although volunteering in Nottingham has existed since NCVS was first established in 1875, a dedicated resource has only been available since 1977.

Archival records of meetings, annual reports and newsletters exist charting a documented history of the Volunteer Centre but there had never been any research into the lives of people the service helped.

Using interviews and drawing on case studies we explored the diversity of people looking to volunteer.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), this project was made possible by National Lottery players.


The original Nottingham Volunteer Bureau was at 33 Mansfield Road where volunteering opportunities were originally displayed on the walls on postcards that were typed on a manual typewriter. From the very beginning, volunteers worked alongside paid staff to help people find the volunteering opportunity that best suited them.

Eventually a computer and a database arrived in the Volunteer Bureau and the postcards were replaced by printouts.

The Volunteer Bureau team developed skills in supporting organisations to engage with volunteers in line with best practice. The National Association of Volunteer Bureaux became Volunteering England in 2004 and the Nottingham Volunteer Bureau became the Volunteer Centre Nottingham.

When the national quality standard for Volunteer Centres was introduced in 2001, Nottingham was one of first to be accredited and has proudly held this standard ever since.



Now, the Volunteer Centre is based at 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham. Our team includes some long-serving staff and volunteers with a total of about 60 years’ experience of providing information, advice and support to volunteers and organisations.


Project material

The project’s video interviews and productions were gathered by a team of volunteers that included student journalists and non-student volunteers identifying and talking to people with great stories to tell.

You can see them all on our YouTube channel.

Photographs, case studies and display material were also produced and have been exhibited at community venues around Nottingham. These remain available for use by other organisations. Please contact volunteercentre@nottinghamcvs.co.uk for further information.

The video below was shown at the Celebration Event to mark the completion of the project. It highlights the diversity of the volunteers who were interviewed.