• Help keep access to family history free with the Big Give Christmas Challenge!


    We managed to raise our pledge target of £5,000 thanks to our loyal supporters and volunteers. We weren't selected for that to be matched by a Big Give champion, which brought our overall target to £10,000.

    The campaign ran from November 29th to December 6th and we managed to surpass the target through the generosity of our donors, raising a total of £12,772!

    A huge thank you to each and every one of you. We know that times are hard for lots of us right now, so this means so much to our charity.

    This year, Free UK Genealogy is looking to raise £20,000 through the Big Give Christmas Challenge. We aim to spend this on modernising and improving our services across all our websites. 

    Our Free websites (FreeBMD, FreeCEN and FreeREG) are all looking at improvements which will help to improve user and transcriber experiences. 
    FreeBMD must be updated and refreshed to provide better user search facilities and transcriber tools. We want to enhance the FreeCEN interface for users on phones and tablets and increase transcriber flexibility in data fields. In addition, FreeREG hopes to improve transcription tools online and offline and improve search engine features, such as wildcard options.
    Unfortunately, without extra funding, it will be some time before we will be able to implement any changes to the websites.

    As this is our first Christmas Challenge, we’re keen to be realistic and successful! So we are asking for your help with the first phase, which is to gain enough pledges to reach our £5,000 target. We need supporters willing to pledge at least £100. A pledge is a promise to match donations made during the Christmas Challenge.

    Once pledges are in, the second phase begins. Individual Big Give Champions will select to double a charity's fundraising. For example, if a Champion picks Free UK Genealogy, this will be a fantastic opportunity to raise funds and help improve FreeBMD/CEN/REG. 

    You won’t need to pay anything until after the campaign ends in early December. If you want to help, please act now, as the deadline for pledges is the 2nd of September 2022

    You can make your pledge here: https://www.thebiggive.org.uk/s/pledge?campaignId=a056900002NEB61AAH

    All donations made during the Christmas Challenge will be matched with the pledges previously raised. This means that every £1 you pledge can become £2, and if a Big Give Champion selects us, every £1 you pledge can become £4.

    This video helps explain the process:

    If you're not in a position to offer a pledge, please consider donating any amount you wish instead when the campaign goes live on 29th of November. 

    We're very excited to be part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge, and we hope you will be too.

  • Announcement from the Trustees

    The Trustees of Free UK Genealogy are delighted to announce that Denise Colbert, currently Engagement and Volunteering Coordinator, has been appointed to the new, full-time position of Chief Operating Officer of Free UK Genealogy. Denise will be starting this work in August, allowing for a handover with the outgoing Executive Director, Pat Reynolds, at the end of September.  

    In addition, Rich Pomfret, Senior Technical Project Manager, will be leaving at the end of August.

    Neither the Executive Director nor Senior Technical Project Manager roles will be replaced with direct counterparts. The strategic parts of Pat’s and Rich’s work will be taken on by the Trustees and other volunteers, whilst Denise will pick up the operational aspects, including as line manager for the other staff.

    Commenting on the changes, Richard Light, chair of Trustees, said:

    “Pat has made an enormous contribution to Free UK Genealogy since joining us as our Executive Director seven years ago. We are very grateful for her hard work over this time and wish her a very happy retirement.

    Denise has made a real impact as Engagement Coordinator since joining us in 2016. The board are confident that we have the right person to take us forward at this exciting time for Free UK Genealogy.”