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The Art of Volunteering

Posted 12:00AM on Thursday 01 June 2017

Dorothy has volunteering down to a fine art – to such an extent that the young people she supports have been involved in four major art exhibitions in the time she has been with us.

But her expertise in creativity is just one aspect of Dorothy’s contribution to Positive Futures. She also helps with summer scheme activities and other activities and starts work early to ensure that everything is ready before the children arrive.

If the Service is short of volunteers she always helps out when she can, and is very supportive of other volunteers and staff.

Dorothy’s input into the art group has helped young people grow in self–confidence and emotional maturity. They are more patient with themselves and others and generally have a better understanding of the world around them.

One art exhibition was at the Long Gallery in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, where MLAs and local artists appreciated the young people’s creative talent. One artist said the work was of such a high standard that it would not look out of place in a London exhibition. As if to prove the point, politicians and others have put their hands in their pockets to buy some of the pieces that were produced.

Dorothy sets very high standards for the young people to aspire to. She has supported inclusion and has encouraged creativity and self–expression. By doing so she has challenged the accepted thinking of the artistic possibilities for young people with a learning disability, autistic spectrum condition or acquired brain injury.

Little wonder that she was awarded Volunteer of the Year in the Bangor Family Support Service.