Be part of the arts, develop skills, contribute to your community.
Organisations across the West Midlands are coming together through the Culture Volunteer project, led by Culture Central and funded by the Volunteers Futures fund by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.
Culture Central is working in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust, Creative Black Country, Stoke Creates and Open Theatre to deliver regional and place-based, volunteering and development opportunities.
Erica Love, Chief Executive Culture Central said: “The Culture Volunteer project is a significant regional partnership project which responds to the needs of people in their place, creating opportunities to develop new skills, meet and connect with new people and enjoy the significant benefits of taking part in cultural volunteering. We are working with our partners with arts, cultural and heritage organisations, to ensure their volunteering offer is as wide and inclusive as possible and working with them to attract new volunteers to their organisations and projects.”
The Culture Volunteer partner organisations will be celebrating the contribution of existing volunteers and highlighting new opportunities for those people interested in getting involved in their local community.
Culture Volunteers North Staffordshire will be out and about across the six towns – Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton, Hanley, Longton and Stoke – during Volunteer Week talking to people about the opportunities in their area such as at Stoke Pride, 6 Towns Reloaded Festival, The Timber Festival, Just So Festival, The Big Feast and British Ceramics Biennial Festival. On offer are volunteering opportunities that last a couple of hours as well as longer term ones, more information is available at: Volunteer Futures (stokecreates.com)
Creative Black Country, who work across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton will be sharing volunteer stories throughout Volunteer Week highlighting the value volunteering has for both the individual and the host organisation. Current opportunities across the Black Country include roles at Moseley Old Hall and Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Black Country West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust and with Autin Dance Theatre for a specific outdoor production in late June. Find out more about volunteering in the Black Country through [email protected].
In Birmingham volunteers are working with a local artist on the Bromford Estate, on a citizen archaeology project at Kents Moat Farm, on a photography project at a primary school in Kingstanding as well as a photography project focused on newly arrived Brummies, particularly refugees based in the city, showcasing the scope of opportunities available. Like all the Culture Volunteers opportunities, no previous experience is needed and training is always provided. People interested in finding out more should contact [email protected].
Plus Open Theatre are working in partnership with Deaf Explorer and Frontline Dance to develop a disabled access pathway for the Culture Volunteer West Midlands project.
Volunteering can have huge impact on those who decide to give it a go. Jessica Kearney, Culture Volunteer at The Art Yard in Cradley Heath said: “I wanted to get into volunteering because after I left Uni I was really missing being around creative people and being in a creative environment. First Art Club I visited I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect … there were all these new people around me and I didn’t know how to behave at all. But somehow, I flourished, and I was speaking to everyone, and I was making connections between people and inviting other people … something I did not even believe I could do before then.
“If you’re looking to get into volunteering now, write down everything that you like even a little bit … be completely upfront about what you can do, what you are comfortable with, what you don’t want to do, and you’ll find that people find opportunities for you.” Jessica’s volunteering opportunity was via Creative Black Country.
During Volunteer Week look out for announcements from United By 2022, the Legacy Charity whose mission is to maintain the positive momentum of the Commonwealth Games across the West Midlands who are ready to reveal the Volunteers Collective, a West Midlands based volunteer matchmaking platform. Over the winter the charity has sought input from the inclusive 14,000 strong volunteer workforce that contributed to the success of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and built a new platform that makes it easy for volunteers to take part in the new events coming to the region in the wake of the Games.
The charity, headed up by Nicola Turner, ex-Director of Legacy at the Games will also release a new report, The Future of Event Volunteering in the West Midlands. Funded by Spirit of 2012,it shines a light on engaging and retaining an inclusive volunteering workforce and demonstrates the demand for a service that can unite individuals and organisations across the blossoming event volunteering landscape in the region.
The Volunteer Collective will specialise in event volunteering in the West Midlands in sports, arts, culture and community events connecting with the Culture Volunteer project
For further information on volunteering across the West Midlands sign up here.