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Volunteers

What does a volunteer do?

As a volunteer you will be part of a team.  A good team will include organisational skills, artistic experience, finance management and making the refreshments.  Volunteers are the people who make Conquest Art possible. Could you join the team?

Conquest Art volunteers can rely on the support and encouragement of the Trustees and Charity Co-ordinator.

Group leaders try to ensure a safe and happy environment for both members and volunteers. In order to achieve this, they need to give careful consideration to the right balance within the group when considering requests for new memberships and, as a result, sometimes it may not be possible to accept all applications.

In cases of severe disability, a group leader may insist on members being accompanied by a responsible carer or family member at all times.

How can you help?

Not every volunteer needs artistic ability, but you do need to be over 18 and a ‘people person’ – enthusiastic, and ready to help create a friendly, welcoming environment where members feel relaxed and able to make the most of their time with us.

What training and support do we offer?

We offer training in the art techniques we have found useful for beginner members to help them get started.  We continue to offer opportunities to meet other group leaders and share ideas.  And of course we support our groups by providing all art materials and financial support when needed.  All you need to do is tell us you are interested.

Could you start a new group in your area?

Groups are usually set up in locations where a need for activities and support for less able members of the community has been identified.

Together, we can work out if it’s possible, then give you advice to help in the start-up.  We would also recommend visiting an existing group to gain first-hand knowledge of what it’s like.

You will need to think about a suitable venue. Most of our groups are held in village and church halls or community centres, which have suitable parking, disabled facilities as well as furniture that are used by the group members.

Conquest Art provides all art materials and equipment for new groups, covers all set-up costs, as well as help with ideas and techniques to assist group members and encourage the best possible outcome for every individual.  Each group needs a group leader and one or more helpers, to provide the necessary level of support and prepare refreshments for the members. Also, two volunteers at each location need to be trained in First Aid. But don’t worry – we’ll arrange a suitable course and we cover the cost.

Running a successful art group is a team effort which needs a variety of different gifts from organisational skills, artistic experience to someone dealing with the money or making the tea.  But most of all we need your enthusiasm.

Become a volunteer

Volunteer Case Histories

Read about our volunteers and how they got involved with us...

Marilyn Pettit (Halesworth Group)

Having moved to Halesworth in 2012, we joined the local United Reformed Church and met Pat Simons, the Minister's wife. Pat is a talented artist and, with a few like-minded people, she had just started Conquest Art in Halesworth. She asked me to help with refreshments and talking to members, which l agreed to and now four years on, I am the Treasurer. We have a lively group numbering 15 members, who attend every Wednesday afternoon. I enjoy the friendship and chat, it’s a joy to observe our group (ages range from 29 to 93 years) interacting with each other and growing in confidence. Their talent is great to see, all have very different skills. I hope to continue helping and may try my hand at painting one day!

Elaine Floyd (Stoneleigh Group)

I have been a volunteer at Conquest Art for about four years. My interest in art has made me want to support people with disabilities to enjoy the pleasures I've experienced with art. Giving encouragement and seeing the members have fun with their art is very rewarding.  I also enjoy the friendly interaction that we all share over a cup of tea. I have met lots of interesting people and learnt many new techniques and skills. Volunteering is great fun.

Nancy Wilks (Godalming Group)

I’ve been helping with the Godalming Group for just over two years now, and I’m so glad I said “Yes” when I was asked! I've made a new circle of wonderful friends and am constantly inspired by their work and sense of purpose. There are many ways of volunteering – setting-up/clearing away equipment, making refreshments, being a “helping hand” – important as our members have some form of disability, being a good listener (the group is as much social as artistic), and leading sessions. Leading need not be daunting, provided you appreciate art and are prepared to have a go at it yourself! At Godalming we have a team of leaders, so we can bounce ideas off one another and have a fairly flexible rota allowing for personal arrangements. As for ideas, themes, and techniques – look around you, learn from each other, and don’t scorn the internet!