I came to Lawson Park with very little idea of what to expect from volunteering with Grizedale Arts - I decided to volunteer because I was aware of the organization through family connections with the area and wanted to find out more about it. I was immediately impressed with how much was going on - no two days were the same and every day was very busy. The jobs I did ranged from feeding the pigs to archiving the library, making pizzas with the youth club (and the film poster, as pictured) or doing the ironing and making beds, and every job was made interesting (even the ironing!) because of the people I was working with and I learned so much just by being involved.
What I found most interesting about working at Grizedale was the sense of a community working together, both at Lawson Park and within the village, And the feeling that everyone there is valued and has their own important role in the day-to-day running of the organisation. At mealtimes visitors, artists, staff and volunteers all ate togther and discussed what they had been doing and at the institute people from all aspects of life in the village were involved.
Overall the week was a very good experience which I hope will not be my only time at Grizedale Arts.
My five or so days at Grizedale were filled, for the most part, by working in the garden. My activities included mowing the grass, turning compost, and a tremendous amount of weeding.
On a few occasions I accompanied the Grizedale group to the village, to help out at the Coniston Institute. Consequently, I was able to gain a little insight into this project and the relationship between the people of Coniston and the Grizedale staff.
Overall the week was enjoyable and I came away with a clearer idea about the way Grizedale works. Another perk was sampling the delicious home baking, which was really welcome after a long day in the garden.