Meta Zimmeck is Chair and Acting Treasurer of VAHS. Originally trained as an administrative historian, Meta has twenty-five years’ experience as a social policy researcher working on projects for government bodies and voluntary organisations. She has published studies of the history of government policy on volunteering and partnership initiatives such as the Compact. She is currently writing a history of the unfortunate but fascinating Association of Ex-Military and Naval Civil Servants. She is treasurer of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and partner in the specialist research consultancy Practical Wisdom R2Z.

Colin Rochester is Seminar Convenor of VAHS. He has been involved in voluntary action for more than forty years, first as a practitioner and more recently as an academic at the LSE and the University of Roehampton. He is one of the founders of the Voluntary Action History Society and served as its chair for the first ten years of its existence. He is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the LSE and a partner in Practical Wisdom R2Z. His most recent book – Rediscovering Voluntary Action: The beat of a different drum – was published by Palgrave in December 2013.

Bill Rushbrooke is Secretary and Sociability Officer of VAHS. He is a retired principal lecturer in the School of Business at Roehampton University, where he specialised in organisational theory with particular relevance to the not-for-profit sector. He is a partner in Practical Wisdom R2Z, a volunteer in Merton and a stained glass artist.

Kerrie Holloway is the Web Editor and Social Media Manager of the VAHS and a PhD candidate in History at Queen Mary University of London. Kerrie’s research focuses on the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief, a British anti-fascist humanitarian organisation during the Spanish Civil War, and how their political ideology influenced their actions and interactions in the refugee camps after the war ended.

Caitriona Beaumont is Associate Professor in Social History and Director of Research for the School of Law and Social Sciences at London South Bank University. Her research focuses on voluntary women’s organisations and the women’s movement in Britain and Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth  centuries. Her monograph, Housewives and Citizens: Voluntary Women’s Organisations and the Women’s Movement in England and Wales, 1928-1964, is due for publication by Manchester University Press in 2013.

Lester Hillman is a lecturer, writer, accredited guide, conference and event organiser, with experience in examining, broadcasting and award judging. He has a degree from Cambridge University and post-graduate studies London. Throughout his career, he has worked as a chartered town planner in urban planning and regulatory frameworks for  international railways, both in Britain and abroad. He is an Associate of the Royal Historical Society for the past four decades and has a Conferred Visiting Professorship from the London Metropolitan Business School in 2008 (Business Analysis, Information Systems , Transport and Logistics Sector Group). He is also involved in heritage initiatives with a number of professional institutes, is the recipient of a number of international, professional and community awards, an academic adviser to Islington Archaeology & History Society and Camden Tour Guides Association and offers support to a number of museums and heritage groups.

Michael Nelles is a part-time PhD candidate at the University of Southampton. Michael’s research explores the rise of local historic buildings conservation movements in the postwar period, examining the historical dynamics of these groups and accounting for the conditions under which they have been able to influence the planning process. Aside from his part-time research, Michael works for the Institute of Conservation in London.

Alison Penn is a Lecturer at The Open University in the Faculty of Health and Social Care and also teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Between 1996 and 2006 she was a Research Fellow at the Health and Social Policy Research Centre, University of Brighton. Alison has a DPhil in Social History, specialising in exploring local-national relationships in the post-World War II voluntary sector. She has twenty-five years experience of working in the voluntary and community sector. She is a founder member and former Membership Secretary and Honorary Secretary of the Voluntary Action History Society. Her publications include From the Rescue of Fallen Women to the Support of Vulnerable Families (2005) and, most recently, co-editorship and contributions to The Roots of Voluntary Action (2011).

Bob Snape is a Reader in Leisure and Sport and also Head of the Centre for Worktown Studies at the University of Bolton. His research centres on the history of leisure 1850–1939. He has published on a number of voluntary organisations, notably the National Home Reading Union and the Co-operative Holidays Association. His current research is focused on leisure and voluntary social service in post-World War One social reconstruction.

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