Emily Barker is a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Education and Health at the University of Greenwich. With a postgraduate background in the history of childhood, she is currently researching the impact of migration on children’s play during the late twentieth century. She has volunteered at various organisations related to children’s education and play and is especially interested in the intersection between community advocacy/volunteerism and children’s social inclusion.
Louis Carserides is website developer and member engagement officer. He completed his MSc in Social Policy (Research) at the London School of Economics and focused his dissertation on the sustainability of local voluntary organisations in Crystal Palace. He has experience in local politics, policy and public affairs, and currently works for Steve Reed MP.
Ruth Davidson’s research focuses on voluntary action and gender in twentieth century Britain. Her PhD explored networks of women’s local voluntary work and political activism between 1869 and 1939. She was research associate on the Child Poverty Action Group project led by Professor Pat Thane at King’s College London, an AHRC-funded project to mark the 50th anniversary of the Group. She is the author of ‘“Dreams of Utopia”: the infant welfare movement in interwar Croydon’, Women’s History Review 23 2 2014; ‘Working-Class Women Activists: Citizenship at the Local Level’ in Peter Ackers and Alastair J. Reid (eds) Alternatives to State-Socialism in Britain: Other Worlds of Labour in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave, 2016); and ‘Family Politics: campaigning for child benefits in the 1980s’ Twentieth Century British History (2018).
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 had 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.
Kerrie Holloway is a research officer with the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute. Her current interests include the interaction between humanitarian organisations and foreign and domestic policy decisions in relation to refugee policy. She completed her PhD in history in 2017 at Queen Mary University of London. This focuses on a British humanitarian organization that worked with Spanish refugees in France after the Spanish Civil War.
Mary Clare Martin is principal lecturer and head of the Centre for the Study of Play and Recreation, University of Greenwich, where she has developed courses on the history of childhood and education, as well as in children’s literature and the representation of childhood in literature since 2001. Her research interests are in children and religion, 1740-1870 in Britain; social welfare and female philanthropy; children’s illness, 1700-2000 in Europe, North America, and Australasia; and youth movements, particularly the Girl Guides. She is completing a monograph entitled Free Spirits: Children and Religion, 1740-1870, and has two book projects on children’s illness. Her publications include numerous articles and two edited interdisciplinary journal special issues on play, for Youth and Policy (2013) and Childhood in the Past (2014). She is co-editor (with Hugh Morrison) of Creating Religious Childhoods in Anglo-World and British Colonial Contexts, 1800-1950 (2016). She is leading an interdisciplinary project on multicultural toys, co-convenes two seminars at the Institute of Historical Research, ‘Life-cycles’ and ‘Education in the Long Eighteenth century’ and is co-founding director (with Simon Sleight) of the Children’s History Society
Alison Penn is chair of VAHS. She is a lecturer and Open Media Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The Open University. She teaches social sciences, sociology, social policy and criminology. Between 1996 and 2006 she was a research fellow at the Health and Social Policy Research Centre, University of Brighton. She has a DPhil in social history and specialises 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 and was one of the founders of VAHS. Her publications include From the Rescure of Fallen Women to the Support of Vulnerable Families (2005). She is currently researching the role of women social investigators in the field of public health in the early twentieth century.
Colin Rochester is an honorary research fellow in the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent and a partner in Practical Wisdom R2Z. 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 VAHS and served as its chair for the first ten years of its existence. His most recent book – Rediscovering Voluntary Action: The beat of a different drum – was published by Palgrave in December 2013.
Bill Rushbrooke is Secretary. 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.
Bob Snape is professor of cultural history and head of the Centre for Worktown Studies at the University of Bolton. He has published work on a number of voluntary organizations, notably the National Home Reading Union, English Folk Dance Society and the Co-operative Holidays Association. His recent book, Leisure, Voluntary Action and Social Change in Britain, 1880-1930, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.
Meta Zimmeck is treasurer and membership secretary. Originally trained as an administrative historian, Meta has nearly thirty years’ experience as a social policy researcher working on projects for government, voluntary organisations and businesses. 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 tenacious Association of Ex-Military and Naval Civil Servants. She is a partner in Practical Wisdom R2Z.