A Different Kind of Conference: some reflections from Colin Rochester, one of the founders of the VAHS

Those who haven’t taken part in any of the six previous international conferences on the history of voluntary action may not be expecting the distinctive experience of the seventh event scheduled for the University of Liverpool in July 2020. Yes, of course, it is an academic conference with a plethora of papers on a wide variety of topics but it is so much more. 

Those taking part include both academics and practitioners who will bring to the conference a range of perspectives on the history of voluntary action which will deal with issues of philanthropy, mutual aid and self-help; the moving frontier between state and voluntary action; issues of social justice and social change; and the increasing hybridity of voluntary sector organisations. 

This varied diet will be supplemented by field trips to places of interest in a city which has a rich history of involvement in voluntary action as well as opportunities for participants to mix on a social level with a voluntary action quiz and conference dinner held in a magnificent building and followed by dancing to the sounds of our own jazz band. 

And overall the conference provides a relaxed, friendly and convivial space for anyone with an interest in the history of voluntary organisations and volunteer involvement. Don’t miss it!

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