Kevin Wilsher

What prompted you to become involved with The Regency Town House? How long have you been volunteering?

I’ve always had an interest in local history and architecture and, after leaving work, I found the opportunity to develop both interests. I’ve been volunteering at the Regency Town House for five years now.

How do you spend your time at The Regency Town House?

After getting involved in a variety of activities including painting the exterior of the house; mixing plaster and cleaning the cornice in the entrance hall; I was asked to help out in organising Heritage Open Days (otherwise known as Brighton and Hove Open Door) after the previous volunteer had disappeared. 2019 is my fifth year as organiser.

Did you learn new skills to do this work, or did your past experience help you to contribute in this way?

My background is in project management in IT and those skills certainly help organise a programme of 100 plus events and keep track of the data associated with them.

I’ve definitely developed new skills around communication, influencing and negotiation – skills you need to persuade people to give up their time to run events in HODs. Working with other volunteers and the general public has been the best part of the volunteering experience – meeting people from different backgrounds has helped me appreciate and understand the challenges others face. 

Any funny stories about volunteering?

I sanded the floor of the housekeeper’s room in Number 10 Brunswick Square using traditional tools and methods. This involved using a pile of sand and a block of wood. I’m still not sure whether the Curator was having a joke at my expense!

Volunteering surprises? 

Organising multiple volunteers to deliver larger projects is difficult. Volunteers have different ambitions, time constraints, enthusiasm levels and skill sets. In retrospect, this probably shouldn’t have been a surprise. 

What makes you happy?

As well as volunteering here, I run a walking group and being with people who share my interests and are willing to learn and share their own experiences is always enjoyable.

Photo of volunteer Kevin Wilsher, with short white beard and wearing a black jumper and spectacles