A Day in the Life of a Volunteer

A Day in the Life of a Volunteer

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Sarah has been volunteering with our Arts team on a weekly basis for more than 4 years, providing support on every aspect of the Koestler Awards process. She shared details about what tasks she gets up to throughout the year, and why she is inspired to continue volunteering.

What does a typical day as a Koestler volunteer look like?
It depends on the time of year. At the moment it’s packing artwork up and sending it back to the artists, which is a very big job because there’s so many pieces of art. Some are very fragile, some are big and difficult to wrap, but we’ve got to keep track of them all and they’ve all got to be carefully labelled, and the process takes weeks!

What is your favourite part of the Koestler Awards cycle?
I like logging in Awards entries in the Spring because every time you open something you don’t know what you’ll find, and some of them are real treasures. I do also quite like the returns process, it’s very companionable – we have 3 or 4 of us chatting away, and helping each other with bigger parcels that need more hands.

What do you enjoy about volunteering at Koestler Arts?
Having worked in the Criminal Justice System for 36 years, rehabilitation is something I feel strongly about and Koestler is a big part of it. We all benefit if people in prison can come out and live more positive lives. I also like writing feedback on the work and being able to encourage people; sometimes you have to rack your brain about what you’re going to say, but I try to write feedback as if I’m talking directly to the artist, and always end on a positive note.

It is thanks to volunteers like Sarah, who generously donate their time and expertise to us, that we’re able to reach and motivate thousands of people across the UK’s criminal justice system each year. If you are interested in working with us, keep an eye on our Jobs & Volunteering page or sign up to receive updates in our monthly newsletter.