Volunteers' Week 2023
Today is the first day of Volunteers’ Week, which takes place from the 1st to the 7th June every year, to recognise the important contribution that volunteers make to communities across the UK.
Today is the first day of Volunteers’ Week, which takes place from the 1st to the 7th June every year, to recognise the important contribution that volunteers make to communities across the UK. This is supported by large, house-hold name charities, as well as smaller organisations, such as our own.
Immediate Theatre’s work is made possible by the support of an incredible bunch of dedicated volunteers, who support various programmes to enrich our work within the community. To celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2023, we wanted to recognise one of our volunteers’ experiences working with us.
Janet Evans is a Volunteer on our Theatre Exchange Programme, which involves weekly sessions with over 50s to create new material through improvisation and script development.
Janet initially discovered Immediate Theatre through a different programme at the Arcola Theatre, also in Dalston, after speaking with our Artistic Director, Jo Carter.
I had enrolled in the Arcola over 60s group when Jo Carter came and asked if anyone wanted to join her in a group that would put plays on in the community, which I joined.Janet Evans, Volunteer
Since joining us, Janet has performed in several plays, as well as getting involved with our Hackney Social Radio (HSR) project. HSR launched in April 2020 as an extension of our work with over 50s, to address digital and social isolation in Hackney during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Volunteering helps the volunteers just as much as the people at the receiving end. It gives a sense of purpose and a joy in working with other people.Janet Evans, Volunteer
One of Janet’s highlights as a Volunteer comes from Theatre Exchange’s performance of ‘Cindy Rella’, an adaptation of Cinderella that performed at St. Joseph’s Hospice and other community venues. Janet played the lead role of Cinderella, and vividly remembers an audience member approaching her after performing.
I remember a member of the audience I met outside the ladies’ toilets where she said something like ‘I really enjoyed that. That is the nearest I’ve been able to see theatre for years’. It made me realise that we were having fun, but we were also improving the lives of our audiences.Janet Evans, Volunteer
Once of Immediate Theatre’s aims since its conception in 1996 was to engage the local community with the process of change. We are so thrilled to work with volunteers like Janet who not only support this mission, but are evidence of the power in engaging with the arts.
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