Sharing Heritage – Sharing Engagement

Beyond the European Year of Cultural Heritage


Within the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, European Heritage Volunteers developed, organised and evaluated under the title “Best practise models of volunteering for European Cultural Heritage” volunteering projects for European Cultural Heritage in various contexts, in order to apply the experiences gained here to other heritage sites and to initiate later similar projects at these and other sites all over Europe.

To enable these experiences to be applied in the best way possible, the projects used different heritage-related and pedagogical methods, which were carried out in different configurations with smaller and bigger project partners and which aimed to different categories of cultural heritage.

In order to continue and to sustain these activities European Heritage Volunteers and its partners developed the project “Sharing Heritage – Sharing Engagement”. The project roots in the theme of the European Year of Cultural Heritage "Sharing Heritage", but it is going beyond that while including the aspect of active engagement for heritage.


"Sharing Heritage - Sharing Engagament" is carried out by a network of different stakeholders from all over Europe - national and regional heritage administrations, site management authorities, regional and local administrations, non-governmental organisations and initiatives, foundations and universities.

The overall project consists of heritage volunteering projects and heritage training courses that will take place between May and November 2019 all over Europe and are aimed at both young adults with and without previous education in the field of heritage, and to students and young professionals. The groups usually consist of twelve to fifteen participants and are interdisciplinary and international. While using different heritage-related methods all projects combine a hands-on part with an educational part which provides background knowledge about the particular site, the region and the applied methodology.


The 2019 programme includes the preservation of an early Christian basilica in Bulgaria as well as a church from the 14th century and the related ensemble in Armenia, conservation activities at a medieval fortress in Slovakia and at a wooden church in Northern Russia, restoration works at the interior of a monastery in Poland and at wooden tabernacles in a monastery in Ukraine. A special focus will lie on preservation activities at heritage sites in rural regions – so in Albania and Finland. Some of the projects will be dedicated to special categories of heritage – to historic parks and gardens, Jewish cemeteries and industrial heritage. Finally, several projects will provide knowledge about traditional handicrafts as a about dry stone wall techniques, construction of vaults, restoration of historic windows and of historic plasters and coloured surfaces. 

The programme is published under "List of Projects"; the detailed project descriptions can be found under the related categories.


"Sharing Heritage - Sharing Engagement" illustrates the wide variety of European Cultural Heritage and focusses on types of heritage which are often underappreciated by the public and urgently need support, such as sites without use, archaeological heritage and industrial heritage. The projects aim to raise awareness for these sites, to provide the necessary knowledge for their rescue, conservation and restoration and to encourage the local communities to engage with their endangered heritage.  

“Sharing Heritage – Sharing Engagement” is open to be joined by new partners from all over Europe and is foreseen to be continued beyond 2019.