The Spike Heritage Centre (Guildford)

REGIONAL MENTOR VOLUNTEER - updated 9th July 2019



To mentor research volunteers and assist with research for the “More Than Oliver Twist” Arts Council England funded subject specialist network project, helping to bring clarity, priority and focus to the research team.


Relation to Workhouse Network Objective:

The Workhouse Network aims to enable museums to enter into beneficial partnerships and give them the tools to maintain these relationships; to build confidence in the museum workforce to successfully develop and disseminate historic welfare research; to increase public engagement with welfare histories. The Regional Mentor will assist with these objectives by providing skills sessions and guiding regional research groups in their research.



May include the following:

  • To provide support structure for research volunteers by organising regular progress meetings;
  • To attend the Mentor Training Day on 22nd July 2019, and the Networking Event on 11th September;
  • To host at least 1 skills session for research volunteers;
  • To complete family history research alongside research volunteers to uncover regional pauper narratives, using a range of resources, including but not limited to the local archives, MH12 at the National Archives, FindMyPast/Ancestry, FreeBMD, newspaper archives and your local workhouse archive. This may necessitate signing up to your local library;
  • To know when to refer research volunteers to the Project Support Officer, or when to get support.


Skills required:

  • Patience and understanding
  • A non-judgemental, open and supportive attitude
  • Ability and confidence to mentor and guide groups, and provide training
  • Secure and reliable internet availability at home
  • Research skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to take and respond to feedback
  • Communication skills


Training provided:

  • All training will be delivered at and provided by Nottingham Trent University.
  • Training to cover - Research overview: aims, methods; Poor Law Records at the National Archives; Local Poor Law Records; Record linkage: from “records” to family histories; Writing history/making history: interpretation and the writing of history; Approaches to mentoring volunteer researchers.

Mission Statement

To promote the benefit of the inhabitants of Charlotteville and the neighbourhood (hereinafter called ‘the area of benefit’) without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political or religious or other opinions, by associating together the said inhabitants and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisation in a common effort to advance education and provide facilities in the interest of social welfare for recreation and other leisure-time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants.

To establish or secure the establishment of a Community Centre and to maintain the same, whether alone or in co-operation with any local statutory authority or other person or body in furtherance of these objects.