Volunteering at Inkwell

I’ve been a creative/craft volunteer at Inkwell since around Easter time. I was prompted to start as I wanted to gain skills in leading workshops and explore it as a possible career area as part of the Live Projects module. I had been working with Loren on this, but with her off home for the summer I decided to continue solo and support the mental health charity with a monthly creative drop-in session.

Alas all did not go smoothly. I called off the first session due to ill health, and Inkwell called off the third session due to a lack of customers throughout August and no promotion of the event. I did actually attend the middle workshop – a craft monsters session of willow sculpture – but me and two other volunteers were the only ones that did. Never-the-less we soldiered on and made a butterfly out of willow to show to people at the next such workshop. I had never worked with willow before so it was great to see what is was like to work with.

I’d gotten a new pinny for the summer workshops. I find a pinny really handy, not only for keeping you clean, but also for help people to identify you as a helper. For me there is also something psychological about putting one on, it definitely makes me feel ready to make something. This new waterproof pinny was an upgrade from my last, which was just cotton.

I have been invited back to Inkwell to deliver my planned zining workshop during the autumn, which will be fun. Unfortunately, due to my work commitments, I can’t offer a regular weekend, for example every second Saturday each month, which is what the team at Inkwell really want. Other crafty volunteers that offer that build an audience over time and that cuts back on the need for additional promotion. Between us we have come to the conclusion that it would be easier just to support workshops when I’m free rather than trying to organise sessions. It seems to be too much work for everyone involved and then fills a Saturday which makes it hard to get a regular session running. This is a shame, but supporting is just as much fun and I still learn loads.


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