European Heritage Volunteers organises an annual conference under the title "Good practices of heritage education and volunteering for European cultural heritage".
The 2020 conference had been planned to take place within the framework of Europe's Leading Trade Fair for Conservation, Restoration and Old Building Renovation “denkmal” in Leipzig, Germany, and had been supposed to take place on November, 6th, 2020. Due to increasing corona-caused mobility restrictions for most of the participants and panelists the conference has been postponed and will now take place on May, 7th, 2021 in Görlitz / Germany, a historic town at the heart of Europe, at the German-Polish border.
Nonetheless we view these changes in the light of new opportunities rather than challenges: Görlitz is an ideal setting to promote our pan-European initiative in the context of a place which reflects this ideal on its best. Furthermore, the choosen date directly before Europe Day 2021, thus provides another opportunity to manifest the values of cross-European collaboration which is the core of the European Heritage Volunteers Network. These perspectives will allow to re-orientate the focus of the exchange, and to give the conference a slightly different character than in previous years while including a broader group of guests. In addition, the conference will serve as usually as a platform to present examples of good practice, exchange experiences, and to stimulate further heritage volunteering projects all across Europe.
This change will not affect the conference originally foreseen for 2021. As planned the 2021 conference will take place in the first half of October 2021 in South-East Europe and will put the focus on the exchange of the European Heritage Volunteers Network with as well as among heritage-related institutions, organisations and initiatives in the region.
In 2019, the conference took place in Kraków / Poland and had been jointly organised by the National Heritage Board of Poland, European Heritage Volunteers, the International Cultural Centre Kraków and Fundacja Chronic Dobro.
As the final event of the 2019 European Heritage Volunteers Programme and the 2019 edition of the "Together for Heritage" programme of the National Heritage Board of Poland, the conference showcased the importance of volunteering as an appropriate tool for awareness raising, documentation, rescue, and preservation of cultural heritage, as well as for non-formal heritage education. Examples of good practice in heritage volunteering within Poland and other European countries illustrated the potential of cultural heritage volunteering. These examples demonstrated the applicability of volunteering for various types of heritage, various heritage-linked tasks, as well as different constellations of cooperation between non-governmental organisations, public authorities, foundations and other stakeholders active in the field of heritage.
The conference gathered representatives from organisations, institutions, and initiatives which had organised projects involving heritage volunteering and heritage education. Representatives of state authorities, heritage administrations, as well as citizens with personal experience in volunteering for cultural heritage have been present. A special focus had been placed on projects directed at young adults, students, and young professionals.
Apart from the presentations, the conference provided space for networking opportunities – in order to exchange about past and current projects, discuss ideas for future projects, and to strengthen and develop international cooperation in the fields of volunteering for cultural heritage and non-formal heritage education.
In 2018, the conference had been organised within the framework of Europe's Leading Trade Fair for Conservation, Restoration and Old Building Renovation “denkmal” in Leipzig / Germany.
The conference was a part of Germany's official programme on occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the final event of European Heritage Volunteers’ project “Best practice models of volunteering for European Cultural Heritage” within the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage as well as the opening of European Heritage Volunteers' overall project "Sharing Heritage - Sharing Engagement".