Volunteering is a great way for Outside In artists to get more involved in the charity. There is a role for everyone and we aim to tailor volunteering to your interests and availability. For this weeks blog post we asked Den Barry, who regularly volunteers in our offices, to share his experiences of supporting the Outside In team.
“My name is Den and I am a volunteer for Outside In”
There, that wasn’t so difficult was it? I’m writing this blog post as one of my volunteering “duties” at Outside In and, I have to say, I’m rather enjoying myself! I write “duties” in quotation marks by the way as it feels like anything BUT a duty to do this kind of “work” (there we go, more quotation marks, but I’m sure you are getting my drift by now).
As a recently self-published author I appreciate that I need to hone my writing skills and practice my craft. When I heard from a friend that Outside In was looking for volunteer help in communications and social media I thought I’d be mad not to give it a go. I get to write regularly (without having to continually find new subject areas of my own to write about), hopefully improving my skills along the way whilst Outside In gets a little free support in connecting with a wider community.
I’m only here for a few hours every week and have been here for just a few months, yet I’m already feeling like a part of the team. I get numerous cups of tea made for me, I’m included in the office chatter and am never asked to do anything mundane and am offered a wide variety of tasks. My travel expenses are also covered, so what could be better? I’m feeling valued, I’m gaining confidence and expanding my skills whilst simultaneously helping a newly independent charity develop and grow.
“But I’ve never written for an audience before Den, I couldn’t do that” I hear you say. Well that’s the beauty of volunteering for an organisation like Outside In. As I have already mentioned, it is a newly independent charity and its growing fast. This means that there are an increasing number of ways in which you can help out and therefore a variety of areas in which you too can improve your skills, get involved in something new, enhance your CV or just meet new people.
Outside In is currently looking for artists to become Outside In Ambassadors. This is an opportunity to represent the charity at events local to you or even more widely across the country if you choose. You could be asked to answer questions informally at a small event, or give a presentation at a larger event such as a conference. There are opportunities for volunteers to write blogs or give press interviews, the sky really is the limit!
There are also opportunities at Outside In for volunteers to get involved in the decision making process in shaping the future direction of the charity through the Artist Advisory Group. This if where volunteers can meet and discuss future project ideas, inform Outside In about artists’ current work and thinking or maybe help to improve services generally. Artists can use this forum for consultation purposes or to participate in focusing the work of Outside In on specific areas of interest.
Before I sign off I should add that there is also a lot of anecdotal evidence that volunteering has a positive impact on health too, I can testify to this personally! So, if you have a few hours to spare and maybe professional skills that you think might be of benefit to a charity such as Outside In; or you want to enhance your skills and experience; or learn something completely new; or simply want to meet new people and give something back to your local community, please get in touch by calling Hannah Whitlock on 01243 770845 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to meet you!