Creating a new Volunteer Programme

27 05 2014

Creating a new Volunteer Programme

Whitworth Volunteer Coordinator Fee Cariss is busy recruiting and training a team of volunteers to assist at the Whitworth when we reopen in Autumn 2014 – here she tells us all about it.

‘After heading up the volunteer programme for the Manchester International Festival in 2013 and managing a portion of the thousands of Games Makers for the Olympics London 2012, I am very excited to produce and develop a new volunteer programme for the redeveloped Whitworth Art Gallery.

I want to create and give opportunities for volunteers to learn, develop and make a difference when volunteering for the Whitworth. Recruiting an enthusiastic and dedicated team of diverse individuals, bringing them together in creating the best volunteers in Manchester!

Volunteers will be at the heart of the new Whitworth and anyone can get involved in lots of different ways from supporting artists, getting hands-on and creative, intimate workshops through to large scale events, behind the scenes, art-gardening and helping with our children, family and adult programmes.

New roles to support our future plans are currently being developed and one of the roles we have in place will be Volunteer Art Gardeners; the maintenance and upkeep of the landscaped areas created by Sarah Price will be down to team of dedicated and enthusiastic arty gardener volunteers. They will get the chance to work closely with Sarah, be fully trained by gardening professionals and get their hands dirty being outdoors in our glorious Manchester weather!

The new Collections Access Area will also be key to volunteer input and assistance. The purpose of this role is to support the widespread use of the Collections Access Area and provide increased access to the collections of the Whitworth Art Gallery for all our visitors. Trained volunteers will encourage direct engagement with collections and create a meeting with visitors of all ages. This is an amazing opportunity to get to know the Whitworth’s Collection and work alongside our curators.

We will also be launching teams of Family volunteers. Getting families together of all ages from grandma’s to dad’s and from teenagers to toddlers, the volunteers will be involved across the board from helping deliver sessions, peer to peer learning, to family bloggers helping promote and reflect on our sessions for other families.

And of course, to support our producer Alex Rinsler in the launching of the Gallery’s opening weekend, Event volunteers will play a crucial part in assisting with the expansion of the Gallery and importance of getting the word out to the general public. They will then go on to assist with the other events, big and small, which we will be holding throughout the year.

Other opportunities will include volunteer assisted Walking for Health tours and lots of creative roles alongside our Learning and Engagement Team.

My aims have always been for volunteers to have fun and ensuring everyone achieves their motivations for getting involved so I will be making sure I meet and chat with everyone coming onboard and putting them in a role I hope they love!

Team Volunteer at a recent Whitworth Pub Quiz

Team Volunteer at a recent Whitworth Pub Quiz

We are looking to recruit over 100 volunteers, providing training and inductions throughout September ready for our opening in Autumn,

Being from Manchester and having visited the Whitworth Art Gallery since I was a little girl I am very much looking forward to seeing, and working in, Manchester’s new gallery in the park!’

Register your interest in volunteering by emailing or phoning Fiona at:
Fiona Cariss | Fiona.cariss@manchester.ac.uk | 0161 275 8459

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