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Revisiting the Imperial War Museum North: Still Engaged in Innovative Programmes for Nontraditional Volunteers

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When it opened in July 2002, the Imperial War Museum North (IWM North) in Manchester, England, unveiled an ambitious community volunteering project: the museum had recruited over 100 local residents, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to work towards vocational qualifications in the museum prior to its opening, building confidence, gaining experience, and increasing employability. This ‘Shape Your Future’ Programme, first described by Lynn Blackadder in an October 2002 feature article for e-Volunteerism, was considered groundbreaking for the museum, while empowering and even life-changing for many volunteers.

Fourteen years later, e-Volunteerism revisits IWM North and brings readers up to date on the museum's many positive and innovative approaches to volunteer involvement since the original project began. Author Danielle Garcia reveals that IWM North continues to build a reputation as a major cultural institution, a community collaborator, and a leader in engaging what many would consider ‘nontraditional’ volunteers in service that blends self-help with accomplishing important work.