Graduate Trainee: My First Month at Heritage Trust Network

Three people smiling in courtyard

What I’ve been doing

I’m Fae, the Graduate Trainee, and my first month working at Heritage Trust Network is coming to an end so here is an update on what I’ve been doing to get started. It’s been a whirlwind of inductions and meeting new people! I’ve also had the chance to see some heritage sites and meet some members as well as get to grips with the online systems and processes I will be using more.

Induction in Birmingham

I started with an in-person induction in Birmingham, hosted by The Coffin Works. I met Bev, the Programme Manager, and Vicki, the Membership Officer. They explained a lot about how they work at Heritage Trust Network, who everyone in the team is and got me started working on different programs.

While I was there, Bev and I were lucky enough to have a tour of the Coffin Works which is a great museum as the many rooms show the different parts of the factory and some rooms, such as the warehouse (shown below) have not changed since the factory closed in 1998.

 Stamp room at the coffin works with stamps and benches Room with packages on a table and stools
The stamp room (left) and the warehouse (right) at The Coffin Works

Then, I had a chance to visit Coventry where I met David, the CEO, in person and two more Network members who gave me a tour of Draper’s Hall from Historic Coventry Trust and Weaver’s House. Seeing how different members were doing and using heritage buildings in different ways was very interesting.

Front entrance of Gate in Coventry Tudor building with front door and windows
The Gate of the city wall (left) and buildings on Priory Row (right) are now used for unique accommodation in Coventry.

Working at home

Since the induction in-person, I have been working at home which I am finding an interesting way of working. The biggest advantage of working online is that I can attend all the events hosted by the Network and meet members and other contacts from anywhere in the UK without having to travel. I’m also keeping in contact with the rest of the team online to keep the feeling of working together even though we are spread across the UK.

I’ve found the time to catch up on some of the work Heritage Trust Network has been doing through recorded webinars and presentations from events and researching the varied work that members do. Getting to grips with how the funding and evaluation works for a NLHF grant is interesting too as this is how my post is funded.

I’m also already gaining skills which I know will tick boxes on job applications in the future: using a CRM, WordPress, MailChimp and more. For example, I have been adding events to the website, contacting groups who may be interested in hearing more about what the Network does and editing the next newsletter.

Most recently this week, I attended Network Day which was a full day online of sessions and conversations between members and experts. Hearing real case studies from members about the successes and challenges of working with heritage buildings, I am gaining a broad insight into how things work in the heritage sector. I am looking forward to the next events and conversations still to come.

What’s next?

The next exciting project I am getting started with is forming a Youth Forum. In order to give more young people an opportunity to have their voices heard by the Network members all over the UK, we will provide a platform for young people to get involved. I am looking forward to having the initial meeting with people who are signing up for the forum and getting to know them!

 

My post at Heritage Trust Network is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thank you to players of the National Lottery.

Top image shows: Cornelius – The Coffin Works Tour Guide, Beverley – Heritage Trust Network Programme Manager and Fae – Graduate Trainee

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