Volunteering for ArtCare

Volunteer staff are a huge asset to the ArtCare team enabling us to expand our project work. Volunteering with ArtCare also has many benefits for you. We want our volunteers to be respected for the skills they bring as individuals and we want to provide opportunities for gaining experience and applying creativity in an arts in health setting.

Anne Parrish

Anne Parrish - ArtCare volunteer

Anne joined ArtCare as a regular volunteer in May 2010. We asked her about her experiences.

What led you to volunteer for ArtCare?

‘When I was medically retired I wanted to do something constructive, but in an area that interested me. I like artistic things and thought of ArtCare, not really knowing what ArtCare did. I'd seen people organising the exhibitions in corridors and I knew they helped with colour schemes in wards, but I’ve discovered you do an awful lot more.’

What activities have you been doing?

‘I have been taking photos of all the pictures in the permanent collection and adding them to the database. I also measured them, so we knew the size and checked their location.

What are the benefits for you of volunteering with ArtCare?

‘It allows me to get out of the house and I feel I'm doing something useful. I can organise myself around this work, it's flexible. I can do the work in my own time. I feel I'’ve gained a great deal and certainly look around the hospital in a more observant way.’

What would be my responsibilities as a volunteer?

Your role as a volunteer will encompass many different tasks and situations, that will all fall within certain boundaries based on the following criteria:

  • volunteers will work alongside ArtCare staff in either a supporting or co-facilitating role. Depending on the agreed working level, activities may include administration duties, exhibition duties, public workshops or events, as well as ward art sessions enabling patients, staff and visitors to take part as they choose, providing them with support, appropriate to each individual
  • bring a range of creative skills and an open mind, encouraging people to explore their ideas
  • create a safe, enjoyable atmosphere respecting individual privacy and confidentiality
  • feedback to appropriate persons so that personal safety is maintained
  • follow the code of conduct and work as specified within Trust policies

What would be the benefits for me?

ArtCare aims to provide:

  • opportunities to develop your personal and teamwork skills
  • valuable work experience within Arts in Healthcare
  • appropriate training and ongoing support from ArtCare staff and Voluntary Services
  • regular personal meetings to explore individual training needs and ideas for new work
  • travel expenses (within a 20 mile radius) and meal allowances as set out by Voluntary Services criteria
  • Public Liability Insurance

What type of person are you looking for?

You don't need to be qualified but you do need:

  • confidence and experience in using art and/or craft materials
  • enthusiasm to try new things
  • experience of creative work within a group - either as a participant or as a leader
  • a portfolio or selection of favourite examples of your own artwork

How much time would I need to give?

Volunteers are expected to commit to 2 hours a week (or equivalent). Each volunteer placement has an initial trial period of 2 months or 16 hours, after which period the working level will be agreed and goals can be set for skills to work towards. Placements are for a total of 6 months and can be renewed.

What should I do if I am interested in volunteering for ArtCare?

Read our volunteers leaflet which has more information about responsibilities and levels of work and if you are interested in volunteering please contact Lesley Meaker, Exhibitions Organiser for an informal chat on ext. 4884 or by email. N.B. All volunteers will need to complete an application form for Voluntary Services and Criminal Records checks.