Copped Hall was saved by a nine-year campaign fought by volunteers pursuing a set of principles. Later - the setting up of the Copped Hall Trust, the negotiations to purchase Copped Hall and the raising of the finance were all done on a voluntary basis.
In addition, the trustees are all volunteers, as are all the people that work at Copped Hall with the exception of paid contractors and consultants. In addition, there are a growing number of professionals who are volunteers – for example – plasterer, fire alarm installer, insurance consultant, bookkeeper, horticulturalist, archaeologist, builder, biologist, etc. So, Copped Hall is truly a volunteer enterprise – a nest of good people who want to see Copped Hall and its gardens properly restored for educational, cultural and community purposes.
Although this shared endeavour of bringing a wonderful place like Copped Hall back to life is certainly rewarding, there are other opportunities that have created much satisfaction – for example, a volunteer involved with archaeology may also assist with a concert or the produce in the Walled Kitchen Garden. Alternatively, an insurance expert may attend a study day on 18th century family history and then mix plaster. The attraction of this range of activities is such that some volunteers have been involved since 1998 when the Friends of the Trust was started.
When we advertise for more volunteers it is not that we want some kind of unspeaking slaves; we are inviting people to become part of a network of individuals who in different ways advance the project. It is worth mentioning that Copped Hall is now held up nationally as an example of how a major historic site can be saved for the community – with no initial funds – by committed volunteers.
All help counts
I believe that I have the best volunteer task at Copped Hall. I arrange parking of the cars on tour days. I am in the open air with beautiful views that are changing month by month. I meet and exchange some banter with the visitors some of whom keep returning to marvel at the changes or are visiting for the first time because they have seen the house from the motorway. This small job only takes 2hrs out of my day giving support for an excellent project and gives me a great deal of pleasure.