30 Silver Street, Reading, RG1 2ST

Volunteer Stories: Rory

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As part of our celebrations for National Volunteers’ Week (1st to 7th June) we wanted to share stories from some of our wonderful volunteers. Our volunteers are what make the Rising Sun work as well as it does.

We interviewed Rory who is part of our marketing team and Genius Ideas, an outdoor arts group based at the centre.

What attracted you to start volunteering at the Rising Sun?

I felt that I was wasting time sat at home watching TV or fiddling with my phone so wanted to do an activity that got me out of the house, meeting new people, doing interesting and fun things as well as giving something back to the community.  Volunteering at The Rising Sun has certainly ticked all those boxes.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?

It's great when something that you've spent a lot of time on finally pays off, whether it's the Here Comes the Sun festival, or bringing Jeff the Giant Elf to the town centre for a Christmas Advent Calendar event.

I like that volunteering at The Rising Sun gives you opportunities to do things that you might not otherwise get the chance to do in your day job. You are encouraged to 'have a go' at whatever takes your fancy. If it works – keep at it; if not – no problem, let's find something else to do. Everybody is very supportive and it's great to work with like-minded people who all want the best for the centre.

What difference has volunteering made to you?

I've certainly learned new skills. Despite being poor at drawing and having never done any graphic design before, I've now got a portfolio of eye-catching artworks that I've managed to create for the centre. As I said above, this is due to the supportive environment at the Rising Sun that made me have a go and see what I was capable of. I had to learn as I went along, but now I've gained good experience using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and each new artwork is taking a little less time than the last as I get to grips with the software.

What impact does your volunteering have on the local community?

The volunteer-base as a whole makes The Rising Sun what it is. It's a place that has something for everyone, whether you are into live music, dance classes, art, poetry, cinema, theatre or almost anything else.  The centre undoubtedly makes a great contribution to the cultural life of the town.

A huge thank you to Rory and all our volunteers for creating a supportive environment where people can engage with art in new ways.

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