Volunteer Stories

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Colette

Anybody who knows me knows about my relationship with Fabrica. I’m a Fabrica woman!  It’s a big part of my life. Intellectually it’s very exciting as well as a ‘feel-good’ experience.

Fabrica is so in touch with current social issues. Its exhibitions are so different and take people out of their thinking box in terms of contemporary art. Fabrica challenges people. I’ve had friends who’ve never been interested in galleries but now are so involved because I’m so interested and involved. 

Fabrica has become an extension of me, and my understanding and knowledge of contemporary art has become greater which is something so exciting!  And also, every time I come in, the personalities here are all such good fun. Fabrica keeps me in touch with the modern world and the individuality is great too. 

 

It’s the best volunteering programme I’ve ever been involved in. The ethos is brilliant, the support, the whole team.

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Sara

I really enjoyed all the shifts I did for Semiconductor’s Earthworks, it was fabulous. People's faces when they were coming into the exhibition space were like wow! 

 

In 2019 I photographed about 40 weddings as a freelance photographer, so by September 2020 (because of the pandemic) I think I’d forgotten how much I love people - just being with members of the public. One of my favourite things at weddings is just talking to guests and watching human behaviour, which is hilarious!  At Fabrica, watching how people are in the exhibition, just being themselves, it's really interesting. I felt really buoyed up after talking to everyone.  It gave me a spring in my step.

Fabrica represents an exciting path for me professionally at this time as I take time out from commercial work to reconnect with my artistic practice. I think you get out of volunteering what you put in, because there's a huge number of opportunities that Fabrica offers to volunteers, much more than I’d first realized. I underestimated just how much time the Fabrica team gives to the volunteers, and which I think is incredible.  Volunteers here are really supported and guided in things that they chose to do. If you feel like a bit like a loose end at the moment, then volunteering could really start something new for you that you hadn’t considered before.

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Alison

At Fabrica I get to be around a lot of people who are passionate about art.

 

I find everybody at Fabrica lovely and I get involved with quite a few of the regular workshops, which I've always found fascinating and stimulating. 

 

I always come away thinking that was well worth three hours. Whether it was time spent with the artwork, or talking to visitors and the other volunteers or the volunteer coordinators - they’ve always been absolutely lovely people - so friendly, so warm. It’s always a really good experience.

Fabrica feels like a community, the wonderful people I’ve met there - people who share my passion for art.  I suppose what’s happened since I qualified as a teacher, or even before that, is that I just changed the direction of my life through that passion, from being a teacher and a mother to being an independent person and an artist, and Fabrica’s given me a focus to connect with other people who share my passion.

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David

I have always had a great passion for art and I love visiting galleries and exhibitions – which is something I’ve missed over the past year! 

 

My first visit to Fabrica would have been when I was at college and I remember instantly loving the building.  However it wasn’t until early 2019 that I joined the Fabrica family. After travelling in Cambodia for a couple of months, I realised I had a passion for inspiring and spreading creativity through workshops and activities. Becoming part of Fabrica is a way to explore this passion and support an organisation I believe in.

Through volunteering at Fabrica I’ve met lots of fantastic people and have enjoyed working on some incredible projects and exhibitions. It’s wonderful to be part of a small, independent gallery, providing creativity and inspiration to the local community.

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Angi

For me Fabrica has been absolutely brilliant at filling that awkward gap that appears in one's life when retiring from fulltime work. It has given me a sense of purpose and structure to each week. Stewarding exhibitions is rewarding, fulfilling and fun!

I have met so many fantastic people, I have learnt an awful lot about art and artists, and learnt a lot about myself. I did not know that I could be a researcher but Fabrica gave me the opportunity to explore this new field and equipped me with the necessary skills and training. 

Fabrica treats its volunteers really, really well! The safety, comfort and wellbeing of volunteers is a top priority. We are never taken for granted and always treated with respect.

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Barbara

For me volunteering is a brilliant opportunity and it's an honour and a privilege to work at Fabrica. 

If you are interested in contemporary art, meeting likeminded people, learning to understand and curating art then this is the best gallery south of the Tate. It's wonderful, I love it! I think Fabrica is full of intelligent, likeminded and exciting challenging people and exhibitions.

My favourite things to do at Fabrica are the 'Live and Learn' sessions with Jane Fordham. These are the creative workshops we do before each exhibition to learn about the exhibition and artist. I love them and think Jane is wonderful.

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Jeremy

I first heard about opportunities to volunteer at Fabrica from an employment support organisation I was working with. I joined Fabrica in 2015 when I was still at university because I was beginning to look for any kind of employment/volunteer experience at the time to increase my confidence in those kinds of settings.

To me, 3 words that describe Fabrica would be inclusive, friendly and diverse. I personally see Fabrica as a comfortable place where I am able to work with other people in a way where I am able to feel confident interacting with members of the public. I also see Fabrica as an ever-changing place with each exhibition offering something different.

 

To me, the most rewarding and enjoyable parts of volunteering have been getting to meet new people, getting to observe many different exhibitions and feeling my own self-confidence improve because of my experiences here.

Volunteering at Fabrica has helped increase my personal social interaction skills and confidence as well as making me feel part of a community with other volunteers and the staff. When I think of Fabrica, I feel a sense of friendliness, inclusivity and a feeling that I can push myself forward towards future opportunities.