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Disability Arts Online

Volunteering is good! / 10 April 2013

Visitors and staff at the Art House with work by artist Ivan Liochev

Wakefield Artwalk Jan 2013: Money Maker, Ivan Liochev

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I have been volunteering at the Art House since July 2012, throughout my time I’ve had fun working as part of a team and have enjoyed the roles I’ve been offered to undertake. As an artist myself it’s been a perfect environment for me to volunteer at. I’ve loved talking and getting to know other artists, talking to artist who have studios here, setting up for Artwalks and just being part of the team at the Art House. I like to think I make a difference and being part of the something that’s making a difference is very satisfying.

Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people, socialise and gain more confidence and experience. You can learn and develop new skills, challenge yourself and get training in the area you would like to work in. It also helps when trying to make contacts for possible employment. A volunteer also benefits themselves because they get to see how their contribution has made a difference.

I have found that the advantage of volunteering is having the opportunity to try things out; to be pushed and learn new outcomes about myself.  

Before volunteering at the Art House I did other voluntary work at Scope Awake Mentoring Service. This involved me working with individuals requiring support, providing guidance, encouragement and enabling disabled or disadvantaged people to achieve goals through mentoring. Being a mentor made me more self aware about my own life, my issues, opportunities and what I want in life and inspired me to help others who are in need of support.

I contacted the Art House about the voluntary opportunities available there. I was very interested in what they had to offer and eight months on I have finally gained paid employment. Having learnt new skills and experience, the Art House has played a big part in me gaining this new job.

I do believe volunteering has made me a happier person.

Claire Cooper