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Volunteers’ Week: Andy’s Story with Create


Volunteers' Week: Andy's Story with Create

Each year, we collaborate with international law-firm, Reed Smith to enable adult carers at Newham Carers Network to benefit from relaxing, life-enhancing creative arts workshops through our creative:release project. Reed Smith is based in the City of London, a stone’s throw from the London Borough of Newham, and dedicated staff give up their time to work alongside our professional artists and the carers.

This year, Andy – a Record Clerk at Reed Smith – took part in visual arts workshops with the carers. Together with our visual artist Maru Rojas, they experimented with a range of challenging and stimulating artistic techniques. In one week, Andy and the carers attached pieces of charcoal to sticks of bamboo, testing their imaginations (and dexterity!) as they created an underwater scene with their makeshift artistic tools. In another week, they recycled old images and photographs, upcycling them by painting over the top and sewing thread across the images. Using snapshots of the past, they worked together to create new memories to treasure.

Here, Andy describes his experience of working as a volunteer at creative:release.

“Firstly I’d like to say how engaging and skilled I found Create’s project team, including Maru Rojas – the artist who led the workshop – and Ce’Ce at Newham Carers Network. They were all very encouraging to me and the carers throughout the project.

I found volunteering at the workshops a really enriching experience, as it took me to an unfamiliar part of London and gave me the opportunity to socialise with people I wouldn’t otherwise get to meet.

My job with Reed Smith is as a records clerk, which is fairly repetitive and screen based, so the workshops were an excellent “recharge”, helping to boost my enthusiasm level back at the office.

I believe the arts are very important and a social good that should be accessible to all. We need all the obvious stuff: rule of law, reliable public transport, utilities, roads, schools, hospitals etc. but art, when you think about it, is one of the things that make life worth living.

I hope I have contributed in some small way to the amazing success of the programme.”

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