From Heather Sullivan – Gateway Engagement Officer Weald and Downland Museum

Dear Sirs,

Would some of your families enjoy spending some time ‘living’ life as it was in the past in our historic houses as part of our Family Volunteering Challenge?

We are hoping that you would be kind enough to let your families know about our exciting Family Volunteering Challenge that we are launching here at the Museum. This would be perfect for families who are interested in the past and who would enjoy a unique historical volunteering experience set in our beautiful South Downs National Park rural location.

After their expert induction and support programme is put in place, families or even small groups of friends (with an adult if they’re children) ‘live’ in some of the houses for periods of time (e.g.: a few hours, half a day, a day) with a regularity that suits them (e.g.: weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc.), doing what they might have done in the period that a house is associated with. They can change locations if they’d like to from time to time.

We have historic clothing that is produced authentically that family volunteers can also wear as they go about their ‘life’. Our houses, including many with gardens, reflect their historical context with various objects and activities that would have been occupying people’s time in the period. At the end of their Volunteering Challenge period, families will be eligible for a certificate recognising their special commitment. This opportunity could also be something that a group/s from school might like to do as part of an active/living history experience. It could even be something that happens intensively over the course of say, a week, with different groups in different locations.

You or interested families might like to visit to meet and see us and find out more, see our houses, our rural location and get more of an understanding of how this could work in person. I could also offer an assembly (I’m a teacher) promoting the opportunity to pupils/parents and we very much hope that you may be able to help us promote the experience via school. We have an amazing Interpretation Team here at the Museum so, with lots to learn from them, it is always a wonderful experience visiting Weald and Downland at any time.

I very much hope that this is something that sounds very exciting and that appeals to you and your families. If you would like more information, please contact me directly, but feel free to circulate the opportunity to anyone that might be interested.

Kind regards,
Heather Sullivan
GEO.  01243 811030

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your kind invitation. I fear that your letter should have been addressed to the new Chichester High School. We are all old boys of Chichester High School for Boys and live in many locations round the world and across Europe and the UK.

Good luck with your project.

Yours truly,

Richard D Wood-Kneller


As if any of that might stop you, Richard! Thank you for pointing this out to a red-faced lady in Singleton.
Should you feel you can pull a crowd together, let me know. We would be happy to have a group of gentlemen who were ‘up for the challenge’!
In fact, if a group of you (we would need to discuss numbers!) would like to come to the Museum before September 2017, let me know and I’ll arrange tea and cake in our sparkling new café for you! It would be our pleasure.

Very kind regards,
Heather Sullivan