How being part of a creative community in Stockport really can change your life!

I love Arc. It’s that simple. I hope that after reading this, you will feel the same pull as I did to get involved with the people and activities on offer here and how being part of a creative community in Stockport really might just change your life.

When I first joined Arc in May 2021, I was looking for something. I was tired and low (a global pandemic certainly hadn’t helped!) and I wanted to find a positive outlet for some creativity and connection with new people, hoping it would help me re-find my zest for life. I was on the look-out for new opportunities and was so excited when I found Arc online.

Volunteering in Stockport

I knew instantly that there would be something magical about trying to connect to what was happening here; maybe as a volunteer? Maybe as staff? Maybe on one of the courses? It was hard to imagine what it would look like, getting involved in this almost-post-pandemic world where some things were still on hold, some things were slowly starting up again, but I was thrilled to see a role as volunteer coordinator come up. That uncertainty of my path is why I’ve created a series of new monthly Volunteering Taster Sessions which you’ll findl isted on Eventbrite here, so that people interested in volunteering can find out more about what’s on offer in a gentle and safe environment, and those who used to volunteer with us can try coming back into the building to see how it feels. It’s lovely – but come and find out for yourself!

Events for the Community

For me, when I first came into the building for my interview as Volunteer Coordinator, I instantly felt the calm and peaceful atmosphere sink in and was also struck by the myriad possibilities the gorgeous space offered for events and fundraisers. I would love to create a small fundraising team, to help put on events as we move towards a future when larger in-person gatherings are possible again. I love the idea of incorporating art, music, drama or poetry into events that connect people together and raise vital funds for our work with vulnerable people at the same time. Just let me know if you’d like to join in or have some good ideas to share in this direction!


Improving Confidence and Wellbeing

I believe passionately in the work that happens here. Already I have been privileged to see some participants on our creative wellbeing programmes start to unfold, take confident steps into new areas of volunteering and supporting others or take pride in their own creative contributions. Having talked with colleagues and other volunteers I know that this is not something unusual at Arc. I have also personally experienced the benefit of being involved here; for the first time in months I felt like myself again since I joined Arc, and loved the energy and vibrancy of my colleagues, the volunteers (especially when we were all painting giant Frogs 😊 ) and meeting participants.

Training Opportunities

That’s why we want to spread the word that engagement with the arts at Arc, for anyone and everyone, can help with wellbeing, a sense of community and purpose. We need more people to know about our vision and support us, so that’s why we’ve created the Arc Ambassador Training Event, too, to empower both new and experienced volunteers to represent us in various settings and events. As someone who started her career in the charity sector as a volunteer, I know how empowering it can feel to be an ambassador representing an organisation you admire and respect for a cause you advocate – whether as a speaker, on a stall or just chatting to others at events in the community, even on the bus! This type of training event will help you feel ready to describe our mission and values with ease and confidence and may just open whole new doors of possibilities for you, as it did for me 10 years ago.

Our building is now open to the public 10:00-16:00 on Thursdays and Fridays, so drop in anytime for a brew or look online to keep up to date with courses, opportunities and events on offer. We’d love to see you! And you never know what good and unexpected things may follow… If you can’t make it to an event just get in touch via my details here!

By Hannah Flint
Volunteer & Engagement Coordinator, Arc
October 18th, 2021