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Jobs from the Reach files - 22

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In this regular series Olive Braman tells how volunteers can use their skills and expertise through REACH, the charity that places professional and business people in part time voluntary jobs

You can find all the Jobs From the REACH Files articles from the Volunteering Index

Two Reach volunteers join Scottish Church Heritage

What do you need when you want to record the condition of every church in Scotland and how they are currently used? Edwina Proudfoot, chair of Scottish Church Heritage, was looking for a team to input data and set up a gazetteer which would provide the backbone to the project. She got in touch with REACH, the charity which finds voluntary work for experienced managers and professional people. As a result two REACH volunteers, James Moore and Dr Oliver Thomson are hard at work.

James Moore, from Peebles, is a civil engineer and surveyor. He was the managing director of the property development section of the construction company Balfour Beatty and is at present a consultant to them and other building companies.

Oliver Thomson, from Glasgow, had a PhD in history and is interested in Scottish historical conservation. He has spent 25 years of his career in advertising as managing director of a number of agencies. He is a lecturer, writer and broadcaster, with particular emphasis on ethical and Scottish historical subjects.

The church gazetteer project includes all denominations and is recording the condition of every church building in Scotland. It is an ambitious project which will be invaluable for educational, planning and research purposes. Teachers will be able to use it for surveying, geology and history lessons. Recently a school group was involved in a graveyard survey, studying the type and origin of the headstones and social history from the inscriptions.

James` first task has been to help organise the field work programme with local groups. He is also working with the charity to prepare a suitable method for recording buildings. “We need something simple and accurate’” says Edwina, “and John is the perfect choice. . He will be assisting with a pilot project in Peebles and will work with one of our local volunteers under his guidance.”

Oliver is busy too, helping to prepare a business plan so that Scottish Church Heritage can apply for lottery funds. His assistance is invaluable says Edwina. “We are most grateful to have them both helping us and to REACH for finding us two such able volunteers.” 

For further information about REACH please contact Area Manager David Watson on 0131 336 1080 or REACH HQ on 020 7582 6543 website:

For further information about Scottish Church Heritage please contact Edwina Proudfoot on 01334 473 293

Look out for future features from Olive Braman on Jobs From The REACH Files or view all the REACH Files Articles from our Volunteering Index

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