As one of the largest cultural events in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, the European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) festival greatly relies on the help of volunteers. Organised by the Department for Communities, this year’s event will include over 300 historic and cultural sites which will gather visitors to the country’s most remarkable heritage properties. Given the scope of the festival, the help of volunteers is essential for the events to run smoothly, as pointed out by the Minister of Communities Paul Givan MLA who urged the public to help in the organisation.

Pointing to the benefits of getting involved in European Heritage Open Days festival as a volunteer, the minister noted that this is an excellent chance to “try something new, gain valuable experience, share your knowledge and skills, build confidence, help others and meet new people while supporting our economy through tourism.”  

The Department for Communities will collaborate with Volunteer Now, Northern Ireland’s leading organisation that promotes and develops volunteering across the country, on the recruitment of volunteers. Volunteer Now CEO, Wendy Osborne, also emphasised the value volunteering can bring to everyone who joins the programme. People of all ages can become actively involved in heritage protection and promotion, while discovering more about their local and national heritage.  

“With a wide variety of opportunities available across Northern Ireland at various locations and events, this will be a great opportunity to experience and appreciate many wonderful buildings not normally open to the public."

European Heritage Open Days thus represent a chance for exploring historic monuments, culture and traditions of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. This is a unique way to celebrate the “historic environment which makes Northern Ireland uniquely Northern Irish,” as stated in the event organisers Guidance Notes that could be downloaded here. Individuals and organisations interested in becoming volunteers and sharing the spirit of Europe with 50 countries that participate in the event are invited to register on the Volunteer Now website.

The 19th edition of European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) will take place on 10th and 11th September, 2016, while the detailed event programme will be available on 15th August on the Discover Northern Ireland Website