Debbie works at RBS Group and volunteered for one of Create’s flagship CR projects, changing:spaces, at Lucas Vale Primary School.
changing:spaces combined participants’ creativity and imagination with the skills and energy of Create’s professional artist, writer and corporate volunteers to transform a bleak and bare four storey staircase within the school. First, the children at Lucas Vale Primary spent a week working alongside a writer and artist from Create to come up with designs for the four different levels: under the sea, a land of delights, the sky and outer space. They envisioned disco dancing animals under the sea; dragons warming the first floor with their fiery breath; silver unicorn sunning themselves on the second floor; and, on the top floor, sparkly planets and spaceships shooting off between the stars! The corporate volunteers, together with Create’s artist, then painted the staircase using the children’s drawings and ideas.
“When I first heard about the RBS group project to paint the Lucas Vale Elementary School, I wanted to participate, because I was sure it would make a difference for the children/teachers who attend that school, and I was happily surprised when I was able to do so despite the fact that I live in Paris and the school is situated in London. I immediately imagined myself painting the walls of the school from floor to ceiling (you know, up down, up down, that kind of movement with a big brush/roller – they said talent was not a prerequisite), and I admit that I was quite nervous when I found out that we were expected to recreate the children’s drawings on the walls. I don’t know how I missed that small detail.
Anyhow, your artists had done all of the preliminary work for us by the time we got there, and they advised us on colour choices etc., so it turned out to be quite a user-friendly experience after all. Also, the other volunteers were so much fun that I just went with the flow and ended up really enjoying myself.
Despite my evident shortcomings in the artistic painting realm, I would renew this experience if the opportunity were to arise again, because more children deserve to have a good laugh like the one these kids will probably have every time they see my jellyfishes and/or Alan’s mermaid in the stairwell that leads to their playground. I had great fun!!!
Thank you to all those who made the experience possible!”