Several months ago, volunteer and full-time mum Deborah Mercer, set up an arts and crafts workshop with Shaw Trust clients in Edinburgh.
Deborah, an aspiring art therapist, has many creative skills including painting, photography, modelling, and has also worked in the makeup industry. Following participation in other voluntary projects and after hearing about Shaw Trust from a family member, Deborah was keen to get involved with the charity to help others and to gain some entry-level experience in art group settings, as she hopes to study art at university next year.
Deborah runs an informal arts and crafts workshop for Shaw Trust customers where people can come together and take part in small craft projects. Along with the creative aspect of the workshop, members within the group are encouraged to chat and support one another. The workshop is something that Deborah hopes clients can look forward to and she believes that taking part in activities such as this help people to become more confident and build social skills.
“I would like to think that the group has created friendships between clients, that they feel welcome, free to express themselves, and find enjoyment in trying new things.”
The arts and crafts workshop aims to support Shaw Trust customers in building new skills and experience as well as providing an opportunity to meet new people. Deborah has felt that organising and running the project has been a valuable experience for her too.
“I feel like it has helped me gain some experience in leading people. I love supporting other people and seeing them grow. So it makes me happy that people would attend the art group and enjoy it enough to keep coming back.”
Deborah has emphasised the importance of volunteering for members of the community and encourages others to get involved with charities like Shaw Trust.
“I feel like volunteering is a way of giving back to the community and to be involved with a cause that you care about, and is a great way to learn more about yourself in the process, gaining new skills and experience. The Trust is a welcoming place to be, the people make you feel like your work matters, and there's great enjoyment in providing some time out for people too. If you have an idea, contact them, put yourself out there. You never know what you might get out of the experience and you have the opportunity to inspire others.”
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For more information about volunteering with Shaw Trust and to complete an online application form, please visit our website here: www.shaw-trust.org.uk/en-GB/Get-involved/Volunteering (opens in new tab or window)