There are many misconceptions about ‘the voluntary sector,’ including the fact that those who work in it are all volunteers, or that because we love what we do so much and are dedicating our working lives to making social change of some kind, that we should be paid a pittance or indeed work for free. These ideas often also translate to artists. Why would artists, who love what they do so much, need to be paid? Are they not doing it for the love of the art itself? Well, obviously, and I do realise I am preaching to the converted here, artists, like everyone else, deserve to be paid for their hard work, dedication, skill, knowledge and compassion. We strive to ensure that all the artists who are leading our projects and programmes and have a huge responsibility working within social practice, are paid a fair and competitive wage. My biggest frustration as the Director of such an organisation is that often we don’t have the financial means to be able to pay permanent and freelance staff higher wages that are comparable to other industries and sectors. I’m not sure this will ever change, however I am a huge advocate of our ‘wealth’ not being evidenced in terms of how much money we have, but rather in terms of wellbeing, equality and our environmental impact. More on this next time!
Some of you may be aware of 3SG, the new group for the 3rd sector in B&NES. I remember a meeting of many of the initial members of this group, about what it should be called. For the same reasons I mention above, the ‘B&NES Voluntary Sector Group’ we thought may be misunderstood, and we decided that ‘the third sector’ was a much better catch-all for the many different organisations who make up this sector. 3SG is now a thriving membership organisation and I would thoroughly recommend you looking them up, especially for their training and networking events.
Putting the ‘voluntary’ into the ‘voluntary sector’ are the thousands of trustees nationally, and indeed globally, who are responsible for the governance of the 3rd sector organisations. These generous folk are invaluable, bringing their insight, time and diligence to the running of our enterprises, and in return gaining the knowledge that they are making a genuine and tangible contribution to the communities they are involved with. So, (can you see where I’m going with this?), have you ever wondered about becoming a trustee, or indeed the Chairperson? Here at Creativity Works, we are now searching not only for trustees, especially with experience of the arts, finance, law, and buildings, but also a Chairperson. Please do see the article in the newsletter from our current Chair, Louise, detailing her positive experience of working with us, and please do get in contact if you would like to join our dedicated and friendly board.
If you don’t feel ready to be a trustee but would like to volunteer with us or indeed anyone else, please do also check out the advert in this newsletter about our new Volunteer Training opportunity. This will give you the tools and confidence to start or continue your volunteer journey and is absolutely free to take part.