OUR APPROACH TO VOLUNTEERING
As a small company verd de gris can do and have done many wonderful things in our aim to impact on areas like community health and positive social change – but none of this is possible without an active and committed team of volunteers.
We have always sought the help of volunteers – helping in our various intergenerational work and support work with older people. Very often these were young people looking to gain experience in health and social care, or artists keen to explore new ways to support older people in meaningful, life-enhancing activities.
More recently our emotional wellbeing work has led to many participants staying with the company as volunteers, wanting to give something back to other women who have been living with similar negative life experiences. For many of these women just walking through the door into the first session it takes a great deal of courage. Many are so broken. The love and support they receive as part of this creative project work brings a deep sense of connection with the company and the other women they meet in the sessions. This experience helps them to understand themselves better, to trust each other and to develop strength to begin to make real difference in their lives.
Volunteering with verd de gris is about embarking on a journey of discovery. Often it involves learning about a health condition that is new to the volunteer. It may mean meeting with and learning to support a group of people and/or community that is very different to you. A big part of the journey is about listening – being responsive and sensitive to an individual participant’s needs – it is also about exploring and responding to some of the core life-lessons that shape how and who we are as human beings.
Increasingly our work has focussed on the acknowledgement and celebration of lived experience. Using one’s own experiences and finding the courage to engage, articulate and share takes a tremendous amount of resolve and strength. Many of the people we have met and worked with as participants have experienced acute trauma / a lifetime of pain and struggle. But, with the help of verd de gris, they have gone on to use these experiences to help others in a similar space: making films, speaking at events, taking the lead.
This booklet is filled with testimonies for some of the volunteers who have come on the journey with us. They came to verd de gris for different (and very personal) reasons and we are very proud to share their stories with you.
We have also shared some of our community projects – to highlight the ways in which whole communities can volunteer with us, to come together in uplifting, imaginative ways to address issues that matter to them e.g. to rediscover a sense of cultural pride + community heritage, to heal fractured relationships between generations. We hope you enjoy reading about our work.
JEFF & SHARON, VERD DE GRIS ARTS
For more information about volunteering opportunities with the company please contact:
mob: 07926 978651