The Balsam Centre is an independent charity set up by local people for local people, focusing on mental health and wellbeing - providing groups and activities to minimise loneliness and isolation, and ...
The Balsam Centre have had a very successful art class on a Monday afternoon, 2 - 4pm, but sadly our volunteer art teacher has moved to Cornwall so we are looking for another art volunteer to run the group. This is a small group - maximum 8 people - who have been together from the beginning. They are all very enthusiastic and the class has been a life-line for them, giving them an opportunity to socialise with others when most of them live alone.
Although all groups have been suspended until December 3rd, we will re-start the groups once lockdown has lifted. As a charity focusing on maintaining good mental health and supporting those who are struggling, we are committed to encouraging social activities to prevent loneliness and isolation.
The role would involve planning the lessons, encouraging the students and providing a friendly environment for attendees to socialise together as they learn. You don't need to have been a teacher; someone with knowledge of different painting and drawing styles and methods, who can devise challenges and lessons, are the skills we are looking for. In addition, good listening skills and being able to communicate well with others are essential.
The class takes place in a large light room where previously the students all sat around a block of tables. Currently, we have moved the tables apart so they can maintain social distancing and keep safe. Students bring their own art materials and the room has its own Covid hygiene box with hand sanitiser and wipes etc.
What will you gain from volunteering with us? The overwhelming response from our volunteers is "friendship". This is a friendly environment where everyone is welcome. Our volunteers range in age from 15 to 80. We have an award for being wheelchair accessible, so needing to use a wheelchair to move around the building will not be difficult. If you are looking to get back into the work place, or are thinking of becoming an art teacher, this could be a perfect opportunity to try it out, to fine tune planning and communication skills, and we are always happy to provide a reference for any job applications.
If this is something that's caught your eye, we'd love to hear from you!