Committee

Dr Ellie Munro (Chair) is a researcher in social policy and history with a focus on voluntary action research, and the 20th century history of voluntary action at a local, urban level. Ellie works part time at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam, and part time as a campaigner for the University and College Union (UCU). Ellie is also a visiting lecturer at City University of London, on voluntary action history. Ellie has previously worked for various charities and campaigns around disability, health, children’s rights, women’s rights, community action and higher education. Ellie joined the VAHS committee in around 2018, and took up Co-Chair in 2022.

Mandy Barrie is a PhD student at University of Greenwich researching the campaigns for women’s suffrage in the (current) boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham in the context of a much wider movement for women’s rights.  Her research interests include London history, 19th and 20th century women’s movement, voluntarism and activism.  She is a former career civil servant at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport advising on museums, libraries, arts, heritage and tourism. She is also chair of Kilimanjaro Young Girls In Need UK, providing support for young people in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.

Paul Beard is an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership student at UCL and The National Archives. Paul’s research project is titled “Charity and Voluntary Sector Archives at Risk: Contextualising and Conceptualising a neglected archives sector” is examining the recordkeeping practices of voluntary sector organisations in England. Prior to undertaking this PhD, Paul worked for 10 years as an information manager and archivist in cultural charities and museums. Paul is also a trustee of the Business Archives Council.

Mike Locke is Chair of the Advisory Panel for the Institute for Volunteering Research University of East Anglia, and Editor (with Jurgen Grotz) of its 25th anniversary book of memoirs Volunteering, Research and the Test of Experience (IVR and UEA Publishing Project, 2022). He has worked with voluntary organisations since getting involved in community action in the North Kensington area of London in the 1970s. At University of East London he developed teaching and research on voluntary organisations and volunteering. At Volunteering England and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), he led on policy and management for volunteering. He is joint author of The Complete Volunteer Management Handbook (Directory of Social Change, 4th edition. 2019). He has been a trustee and committee member for numerous organisations, including the Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea and as Chair of Greater London Region for the Riding for the Disabled Association. Currently he is on the board of Community Action Suffolk and the governing body of the local primary school. He is a trustee of the Voluntary Action History Society and Honorary Research Fellow with the Centre for Philanthropy, University of Kent.

Dr 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

Dr Robert Piggott is a historian of religion in modern Britain. His research interests are diverse, but centre on the links between voluntary action and religion in twentieth century England. Prior to working in academia, he worked for English Heritage for a number of years, and much of his research has looked at the role of volunteers in managing historic places of worship. However, his recent work is focused on the subject of religion and the National Health Service in its first phase.

Marta Starostina is PhD History Research student at the University of Birmingham. She is writing her thesis about the economic, political, mobility, and promotion aspects of the tourism organisation “Intourist”. Marta has been a member of various volunteer organisations because she loves to make a difference, be part of a community, learn new skills and take on challenges. Currently, Marta is interested to help VAHS with organising events such as conferences, seminars, socials etc.

Meta Zimmeck (Treasurer) – After training as a social historian and carrying out research on the employment of women in clerical and professional occupations, including in the Civil Service, Meta  then specialised in research on volunteering, government-voluntary sector relations and organisational management and development. She has carried out quantitative, qualitative and policy-based research for a portfolio of clients in local and central government, academic institutions, voluntary organisations and businesses. She and her colleague, Colin Rochester, are currently working on a study of the production of PPE by voluntary action during the pandemic. She has served for many years on VAHS’s Committee as both chair, treasurer and conference organiser.