Project Overview

In March 2013 IWM North and Manchester Museum were successful in a new application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop and deliver Inspiring Futures: Volunteering for Wellbeing (if). This unique project was delivered across ten heritage venues to collectively achieve improvement, consistency and quality in volunteering practice as a key route to transforming wellbeing.

Watch our short film to understand how the project was delivered across the city’s heritage venues.

From 2013 to 2017 we recruited and trained over 260  volunteers to work in heritage venues across Greater Manchester. We focused recruitment on the following groups:

  • Young people (16 – 25 years)
  • Ex-service personnel
  • Older people (aged 50+).

To learn more about our recruitment approach please visit our good practice guide / recruitment.

Recruitment diagram

We developed a bespoke training course which carries nationally recognised accreditation provided by the awarding body ASDAN.  The ‘Volunteering short course’ ran over 10 sessions and develops heritage knowledge, customer service skills, communication and interpersonal skills as well as acknowledging the time volunteers give to volunteering at your chosen venue.  On completion of the course participants gained accreditation for 60 hours of volunteer service.

The project commissioned  Envoy Partnerships to carry out a longitudinal study following a Social Return on Investment methodology. Click here to download our Social Return on Investment reportor visit our evaluation page.


if: Volunteering For wellbeing builds on the hugely successful HLF-funded In Touch Volunteer Programme 2007-2010.

In 2006, The Manchester Museum in partnership with IWM North secured funding for three years from the HLF to develop and deliver the In Touch volunteer and training programme. In Touch provided an innovative model for museum volunteer training and community engagement, attracting interest at a local, national and European level. This award-winning programme helped over 180 individuals from a variety of backgrounds in Greater Manchester to access heritage, re-engage with learning and develop key transferable skills leading towards increased employability. For further information download the In Touch Advocacy doc 2010

The In Touch evaluation report is available on request.