Kerry-Anne is Youth Director at Cadence Café CIC in Tyldesley, near Wigan.
In this blog she tells us in her own words how volunteering at her local arts café as a student has turned into full-time paid work and the opportunities that getting involved locally has provided.
I have been involved with Cadence since its establishment in September 2012. I was studying at university at the time and working part-time but I wanted to do something worthwhile and positive with the little free time I had and I knew an ‘arts café’ was opening in Tyldesley so decided to get involved.
How rewarding was working as a volunteer?
I have volunteered across many projects that Cadence has done and have been given a substantial amount of responsibility for a volunteer. I have found volunteering to be incredibly enriching and volunteering in the creative sector has opened up a completely new world.
As a student I thought the only creative jobs were an artist, an actor or a singer, I didn’t know there were so many other opportunities out there for creative people. It’s astounding!
Life and employment skills from volunteering
Volunteering with Cadence has equipped me with so many life and employment skills such as bid writing, effective communication skills, organisation and project management.
It has also allowed me to work with the community I live in and really get to know what individuals are all about, what they like doing and what they want to see more of. Working closely in the community has allowed me to meet some extremely interesting and influential people such as local MPs, mayors and celebrities!
From volunteering to paid work
In April 2014 I was offered a permanent paid position at Cadence and was appointed Youth Director. My role primarily focuses on engaging with young people from all walks of life and enriching their own lives through exciting projects, however, since the business expanded into other sectors in January 2015 my role has become a lot more diverse.
It was the skills and experiences gained through volunteering that enabled me to develop the skills needed to carry out my role. Without the amazing volunteering experiences I’ve had, I wouldn’t be where I am today.