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Civic Reception held for Creativity Works Volunteers

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Volunteers play a crucial role in forming and supporting the services Creativity Works offers and develops. On Wednesday 30th September 2015 from 6-7pm, the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Ian Gilchrist, held a reception in the Chairman’s Room of the Guildhall to help us thank our volunteers for all the time effort and skill they have put into supporting a wide array of projects. There were over 20 volunteers there in total, and many more who weren’t able to come. We were greeted by the Chairman at The Guildhall and treated to a delicious array of snacks and drinks. It was a lovely opportunity to hear what everyone had been up to and to publicly recognize the difference they had all made in volunteering. Ian said a few words to welcome everyone before handing over to Philippa and Camilla to give a more detailed thank you. Each of the volunteers, including one of our board members (board members are volunteers too!) was presented with a little creative bundle sweetened with a slab of chocolate, to say thanks.

Over the years Creativity Works has worked with volunteers who have helped us to plan projects, facilitate creative workshops, design posters and logos, update our website and databases, design and deliver effective project evaluations and support the establishment and day-to-day running of creative peer support groups. Volunteers form an integral part of the Creativity Works’ model, where participants are encouraged to develop from their initial engagement with creative projects (such as Fresh Art @ NHS House) into creative peer groups (such as Creative Perspectives, Tiny Monuments, Breathing Space and Writing Space). Creative peer group members have gone on to become volunteers, taking part in initiatives such as the editing and publication of the recently launched Writing Space anthology – And Together We Wrote… (2015) and in running community events such as the annual BANES World Mental Health Day celebration. Volunteers from our peer groups have presented at The 2015 ‘International Conference of Culture, Health & Wellbeing’ to raise awareness of the effectiveness of creativity in supporting those facing mental health challenges and contributed their time on steering groups for creative initiatives like Fresh Art @ Hillview.

Volunteering with Creativity Works brings like-minded people together, gives people the opportunity to use and develop previous skills and knowledge and to engage and share with creative professionals and participants as part of a creative team. Volunteering provides an opportunity to use your talents and skills in order to ‘give back’ to those who have helped you. One of our volunteer artists said she

“…found volunteering helped me to build my confidence in working with a group and working with vulnerable people, both of which were fairly new to me. I would definitely consider running workshops relating to my own practice now that I have had some experience of helping with a group and learning from the artists who ran the sessions.”

Volunteering can help you as much as it helps others, providing opportunities to expand your network of creative and professional contacts and introduce you to new creative opportunities.

Creativity Works is deeply indebted to every one of our volunteers. Your skills and knowledge have informed our development and your time, energy and enthusiasm has extended our capacity to reach those who are most in need – thank you!

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer please get in touch with Camilla on email: camilla@creativityworks.org.uk or by telephone: 01761 438 852.

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