As a taught postgraduate student, I have only one year to study in the UK, so at the beginning of this semester, I decided to seize chances to try something new here.
It was then that I noticed the voluntary week and was attracted by a variety of interesting programs like gardening, telling stories to the children, volunteering in a theatre, etc. I opted for two programs – one was ‘A Night at the Theatre’, and another was the Big Dig.
A Night at the Theatre
The reason I decided to become a theatre volunteer is quite simple – I love theatres. Different from cinemas, in theatres we can watch people perform at a short distance, and sometimes their true reactions during the performance can create some unexpected surprises for the audience. By volunteering in a theatre, I could not only watch a show, but closely get in touch with some backstage stuff, which sounded so charming to me!
The theatre is full of artistic ambiance. There were delicate paintings on the wall, random words written by the audience with chalks on the tables, and it was the first time I saw real typewriters, which I had just seed in films before! During the volunteering period, we helped do some cleaning work and guided audience to their seats before the show started. It was not that difficult but I had a lot of fun. Apart from working, we also shared cakes with the performers, chatted with them in the small bar, and the most attractive part for me was enjoying a fantastic modern dance show!
To tell the truth, it is hard to completely understand such modern art sometimes. But it really doesn’t matter. For our volunteers, the show was just an extra bonus, and although we were confused, we all still enjoyed the infectious atmosphere.
The Big Dig
The next day of volunteering was totally different.
I, as well as some other volunteers ,went to a small community, carrying out a voluntary program called the Big Dig, during which we helped clean a small yard to let the plants there grow better in the upcoming spring.
Our task was not very difficult and we all enjoyed ourselves there. True, sometimes we got tangled by the stems of raspberry plants and sometimes our rubbish piles were blown away so we had to chase them in the yard, but we did work, chatted and laughed all the time without any complaints.
I love plants and nature. I love the green spaces in Sheffield. Although I was just working in an unimpressive yard during that day, I felt so proud that I could contribute in some small way to this beautiful city.
It’s hard to say what I wanted to achieve during this voluntary work, and even some of my friends can’t understand why I wanted to get dirty in a yard without any pay. Perhaps the reason is that, just like what was written in the advertisements, the volunteers were rewarded with lots of laughter, immense appreciation and a hot lunch. If you think that’s not worth the hard work and we were daft, it’s fine. But if you are curious about why voluntary work is so charming for me, then please try some – start in a theatre, a yard, or any places you are interested in, so that you too can find a project that makes you happy.