Volunteer Story: Rachel

Painting by Hannah Swain

After leaving a hectic and high pressured job in business I was definitely looking for a new, but different, challenge.  I came to the Outside In project via the Volunteering website Do-It; as I scrolled through the numerous opportunities to work for the Cat’s Protection League or various Scout groups I wondered whether I would find anything more stimulating and diverse and then the opportunity to volunteer in the community programme run by Pallant House appeared.

Having no artistic ability myself I was concerned about where I would find my niche, but Outside In proved the perfect place. As the programme hurtled towards the first National exhibition I found that my previous skills of administration, organisation, team work, adaptability and patience were well utilised and on top of that I even extended my computer skills by collating a power point slide show of artists’ works!

In addition to the sense of belonging and doing something useful, as a volunteer for Outside In you are able to view a wide variety of art work too. The fundamental premise of the project has also challenged my views on disability, inequality and mental health and how talent can be found anywhere and value, in all its meanings, is a subjective term.

I have been privileged to see wonderful art produced by some amazing people and working with Jennie and Lucy in the Outside In team is a fulfilling and fun experience.

Image credit: Hannah Swain, Putti