THE NATIONAL Trust is looking for a group of volunteers to help support the Wellington Monument Project.

The monument champions will be advocates of the protect in the local community to find out how the restored landmark can and should be used.

The recruits would help garner opinion on events and activities which could be staged at the landmark - and how the site could be developed.

Helen Sharp, National Trust project manager, said: “We are looking for a small group of committed individuals at this stage.

“We’re calling them the ‘Monument Champions’ because we hope they will act as advocates within the local community.

“We need them to support the project by talking to a wide number of local people and groups so we can understand the types of activities and events that would be of interest to the people who live nearby.

“We also want their help to develop further voluntary roles as things progress so that we can involve a much greater number of people.

“Finally, we’d like them to look at the plans and give their thoughts on the way the project might develop.

“There is a huge amount of local affection and support for the monument and so we hope that we can recruit our voluntary champions.”

The trust has recently pledged its commitment to making the restoration happen, despite the works being estimated to cost £4 million, providing no further problems arise during the core sample tests.

MP for Taunton Deane, Rebecca Pow, started a petition to save the statue and presented it before parliament.

Among those backing the petition was the current Duke of Wellington.

Now, the trust is planning to apply for a large sum of the funding needed from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant-giving bodies.

If successful, it would allow the trust to launch a broader fundraising appeal which it is hoped people will get behind when the time comes.

The success of the project remains reliant on these fundraising efforts in addition to the results of the core samples, which is where the champions will come in.

The Monument Champions will be vital in helping develop plans which can be put to funders and in helping to think about fundraising with the community.

Volunteers will be asked to give up a day or more per week until December.

To find out more information and to volunteer, visit:

The deadline to sign up is Friday, September 9.

Those unable to volunteer are still being urged to fill out a survey to help gauge public opinion on the monument, online at