This year, heritage open days run from 9-18 September. Thousands of volunteers across England have organised and are running events that showcase local history and culture. It’s well worth checking out what’s on in your area to discover hidden gems and enjoy new experiences and perhaps explore somewhere you have been meaning to visit for a while.
For heritage organisations, opportunities to bring in new visitors and inspire local people are vital.
The HOD website for 2022 asks: What will you discover? As well as taking a look at places in your locality, I hope the HOD weeks inspires people to discover a commitment to supporting heritage.
Getting involved and supporting heritage needn’t be limited to just these ten days. As well as attending HOD events, consider finding out how to support local heritage throughout the year. You could join the Friends Scheme, set up a regular donation, or become a volunteer.
Supporting culture and heritage offers more than just individual benefits, such as enjoyment, fulfilment and wellbeing. At a community level, heritage organisations contribute to social cohesion, citizenship and local identity, as well as the economic impacts such as job creation and tourism.
Supporting heritage inspires and connects people, something needed more than ever in the midst of these seriously challenging times.
There has, in fact, been some discussion about the role heritage organisations may have to play in mitigating the cost of living crisis, with the suggestion whether museums and libraries could act as ‘warm banks’. Although clearly to do so, they need to be able to cover their increased running costs.
So, get involved and make a difference.