Buildings at Risk Volunteer Hub
About the Project
There are c13,000 Grade II listed buildings in our region of the West Midlands.
With an innovative approach, and the power of volunteers, we plan to complete a condition survey of each and every one.
Our aim is to identify which buildings are most at-risk, as this will enable us and our stakeholders to focus support and investment towards the most vulnerable buildings. It will also get people out-and-about, actively engaging with their local heritage.
Become a Volunteer here.
We have been working closely with a GIS specialist to develop a system, utilising an app called Mergin Maps, that provides a platform for data input straight from the field. All listed buildings and Conservation Areas are mapped, with Grade II listed buildings showing as active links onto which surveys can be attached. Each time a condition survey is undertaken, and synchronised to the cloud, our map updates to show the colour-coded vulnerability of the building. It also flags when each building is due a reassessment, using the previous survey data to prioritise the more at-risk buildings. In this way, the project acts as a perpetually updating system, rather than a snapshot in time.
It may sound technical (and behind the scenes it is!), but the app provides a user friendly interface to enter observations. The app prompts you to give ratings for various features, such as roof condition, and the project also includes a function for you to suggest buildings for local listing, so you can have a direct impact on the protection of heritage in your neighbourhood.
The Buildings at Risk project provides a uniquely flexible volunteering opportunity.
No prior knowledge or experience of historic buildings is required – just an inquisitive nature and enthusiasm to explore.
There is a 30-minute training module to complete before joining the project to ensure that every volunteer, whether novice or enthusiast, has a consistent approach. It is then up to you whether you dip-in while waiting for a bus, or structure a full day of exploring with friends. This project is an opportunity for us to build a community of volunteers; people like you who are interested in the historic landscape of the West Midlands and passionate about preserving for future generations.
There are so many buildings to survey, we are looking for as many volunteers as possible. Whether you only survey one building or one hundred, all contributions are important. Each survey takes less than 5 minutes, so you’ll be able to fit them around your day – whenever and wherever you like; there are historic buildings everywhere!
You can sign up to become a volunteer in 6 easy steps. By selecting Become a Volunteer in the BaR hub. Follow the steps to complete your online training module and then we can add you straight to the live project. It takes around 30 minutes to sign up.
Once you’re in, you can be as involved with the project and community as you want. You can join one of our regional Facebook groups to connect with other volunteers and organise group walks. You can meet other volunteers at our social gatherings or members events, set up your own networks, or you can be a silent warrior, completing buildings as and when you have chance.
All our volunteers are immensely important to us and make this project achievable.