30 Silver Street, Reading, RG1 2ST

Volunteers' Week: Hear From Our Volunteers

Nikita's picture

We enjoyed a lovely evening on June 6th with other charities and their volunteers at Reading Voluntary Action's first Volunteer Awards ceremony. A massive congratulations to Peter Claridge for winning the Long Standing Volunteer Award. Peter has been involved with the centre for 17 years and has been consistently committed, well deserved recognition!

All of our volunteers were also recognised with a Team Award for their joint efforts and dedication to bringing high quality arts to Reading. It's always great to see our volunteers being recognised as they are an integral part of the making the local community a little brighter for everyone.

Continuing from our previous Volunteers’ Week post, we thought it would be good for you to hear from some of our volunteers about what it is like to volunteer for Reading’s independent arts centre.

Sarah has been a volunteer at the Rising Sun for 6 years. Like most volunteers, she’s done a bit of everything – filing, programming, helping behind the bar and more. Most recently, Sarah has taken up a position on our Board of Trustees and continues to be a familiar face at gigs doing sound. Sarah chose to volunteer at the centre to boost her skills and CV at a time of job insecurity. She enjoyed it so much that she continued once that insecurity was no longer a concern.

Since 2010, Zac has been organising one our most popular events – Tribute Night. As well as this, he does sound, is part of the HCTS team and is the person who writes on the blackboard at the front of the building! Motivations of volunteers are wide ranging, Zac explained that after attended gigs at the centre, he decided to volunteer “to do something worthwhile with my spare time and become more integrated with the local music community.”

It’s important to us that our volunteers gain a lot from their experiences with us in return for all the time and skills they give. What do people gain from volunteering at the Rising Sun?

Sarah: friends, increased self-worth, some interesting memories, new career possibilities and an astonishing amount of cake!

Zac: I value being part of a co-operative group of volunteers that brings an impressive variety of arts to the local community through a broad range of personal interests.  I enjoy being responsible in a small way for some of that happening.  I find it rewarding to contribute my time and skills and energy to a community hub that plays a massive part in enhancing the social experience of living in Reading.

They’re good adverts for volunteering, aren’t they?

Our hope is that volunteers at the Rising Sun feel empowered to make decisions and be involved in every single aspect of the centre. We are working to create an environment in which creativity can flourish and people feel able to express themselves through the arts. Participation lies at the heart of everything we do - the more people that are involved at the centre, the better! 

To summarise, we asked for some words that described volunteer experiences at the Rising Sun and here’s what we heard – rewarding, fun, challenging, exciting and fascinating.

If you'd like to find out more about volunteering with us, contact our Volunteer Support Worker via nikita.moody@risingsun-artscentre.co.uk 

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