Meet some current Darlington Culture Volunteers
I first thought about volunteering some time ago, I wanted to put something back into the local community which I have been part of all my life. I believe Darlington is a wonderful town to live in and has changed dramatically in recent years, some of which is for the good, some not so good. I saw an advert in a local monthly magazine for volunteers and once I met the people from the volunteer service I knew that I could not only help to expand arts and culture in the town but also challenge myself and open myself up to life to experiences I hadn't thought I would have.
My most memorable experience is working at IncludFest. This is an annual Arts Festival held in South Park which is for families and especially accessible for children and young people with disabilities. I really enjoyed working with people who have such creative ideas and allowed me to be part of showing people simple ideas and for them to create as well as have fun doing so. I would very much recommend volunteering to anyone. The worst you can do is say I tried my best and gained so much and met new people and saw fabulous things which I didn’t realise happened in Darlington.
In the first place, I chose to volunteer as in 2010 I wanted to work with Darlington for Culture to save the Arts Centre. Now I still l want to volunteer with Darlington Culture Volunteers so I can be involved in the arts.
My favourite volunteering experience has been at the Jabberwocky Market Festival where I have been able to support new and innovative theatre in strange and unusual venues.
I would recommend for others to join as a volunteer because it’s fun, challenging in a good way and helps Darlington to flourish.
I love being involved with Darlington Culture Volunteers because I love the arts, and many of my roles volunteering allow me to enjoy events (for free) that I may not have gone to on my own.
And I’m able to help the public and make their experiences more enjoyable. Being a volunteer has expanded my exposure to the arts and I have found new interests thanks to DCV.
Everyone at DCV is really friendly and it's great that I am able to choose what I volunteer for so it fits around my schedule.
I am returning to volunteering having retired from work just over a year ago.
Having a coffee some months ago with a friend in the newly restored Hippodrome Bistro (Hippo Lounge) I noticed a Welcome Host Volunteer and it was lovely to be greeted at the entrance. I felt that if I was returning to volunteering, then that would be one role which I really would like to do.
There are so many great things happening at the Hippodrome too and I suspect most people, like myself, were unaware of all of its uses.
Although I have never had a background in arts or culture, I do enjoy the theatre and music and I am amazed by how much there is to do in Darlington and the variety of venues and events which take place throughout the year, to suit all ages, which Darlington Culture Volunteers are involved in.
It is good to know too that if you are unable to commit to volunteering on a regular basis, there are roles which can be carried out as and when your availability allows.