To commemorate Volunteers’ Week, we asked a few of the many people who give their time so generously for us, what volunteering at Farnham Maltings means to them. Here are their responses.
“Volunteering has enabled me to develop my skills”
It has been brilliant to work at the Maltings. I have had a volunteering opportunity to help with flyers in the Marketing Department. Volunteering has enabled me to develop my skills, access theatre and film, and interact with the audiences that attend.
“Did someone say ‘retirement’?!”
I’ve been volunteering at the Maltings for about 18 months now. I began as a helper with the ‘Singing for the Mind’ group where we have great fun supporting people with dementia-related conditions, and their carers, to enjoy some lively social interaction whilst giving their brain a good musical work-out for an hour or so. As singing and music are of prime interest to me, it’s been great to put that to good use in an area as worthwhile as ‘Singing for the Mind’; thus my existing skills are both enhanced and extended. I also enjoy meeting the wide range of people that comprise the volunteer teams and audience members, sharing views and feedback, and contributing to discussions on how the ‘Maltings experience’ can be improved and widened for even greater inclusivity.
It means a great deal to be a volunteer at the Maltings and ticks all the boxes for me: community involvement, artistic and cultural enjoyment, friendship and team work. Did someone say ‘retirement’?!
I steward a variety of events, particularly the opera screenings and films, which tap into my own interests, but do occasionally stray into unfamiliar areas such as children’s events which means I’m working at both ends of the age spectrum as well.
The Maltings provides excellent cultural diversity for all age groups in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere – there really is something for everyone I think, whether practical arts and crafts, music of all kinds, dance and exercise, popular films and shows as well as experimental theatre and alternative comedy – I recommend Bring Your Own Baby Comedy Club for a real cultural mind-blow!
“When we moved to the area we didn’t know anyone…”
I enjoy coming to the Maltings both as a visitor and a volunteer. There is always a pleasant atmosphere in the building which buzzes with activity all day and into the evening.
The culture of the Maltings as I see it is to be inclusive of everybody from all walks of life and all aspects of art and craft. It crosses all barriers to life from dementia, loneliness, disability and young and old people. It gives the opportunity to the local area and beyond through live theatre for all ages at a very high standard.
My skills which have been put to use as a volunteer are: Leading groups through my craft skills, knitting, embroidery etc. and my love of theatre through stewarding screening of films and theatre and live children’s entertainment. Also my love of meeting with people.
Volunteering is a big part of my life. When we moved to this area 11 years ago we didn’t know anyone and by volunteering I have made many new friends and broadened my horizons. Since retirement I have needed the companionship of other people as I am sure many people do and volunteering has opened doors for me.
Many thanks to our three respondents and an enormous thank you to all of our volunteers. We couldn’t do this without you. Happy Volunteers’ Week!