Guest post – Caitlin Woodfield

Thank-you to Caitlin Woodfield, Beauty and Utility Arts volunteer for her wonderful guest blog post:

Katherine has asked me to write a guest blog post about my volunteering with Beauty and Utility Arts, in particular with Points of Interest – so here goes!!

I’m Caitlin Woodfield, a Fine Art student at De Montfort University who volunteers at the Points of Interest group with Katherine Brown and Tim Sayers, who works as an Arts and Mental Health Co-ordinator at leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

I’ve worked with the group on and off since March of this year and until then, I’ll be honest, I hadn’t given an awful lot of thought to the benefits that art has on those experiencing the effects of mental health – my degree shapes its students into becoming artists or art teachers and not much else, so I really only became interested in Arts Management within health when I was asked to produce a Professional Project Proposal as part of my second year coursework. I didn’t want to hold an exhibition or work in a school for a week or two; I wanted to be part of something that made a real difference – and that’s just what Points of Interest does.

Through my volunteering my eyes have been opened to the positive difference that art can make to people; that just a couple of hours a week meeting, exploring and creating offers such a release from the stresses and issues of life is amazing. Seeing the group “um” and “ah”, questioning their artistic ability but ultimately being proud of the work that they produce is far more inspiring to me than the “wisdom” and feedback of my tutors at uni. There is a real enjoyment being had by the group which has reminded me of why I first chose to study art going into my A levels – ultimately art is to be enjoyed. Art is fun! To be able to help out with the group and see this first hand has been incredible and will no doubt shape my decisions once I have graduated as to which way my career within the Arts will go.

For now I will carry on volunteering with Beauty and Utility Arts and the group for as long as they’ll have me.  I love working with them and seeing how members of the group relax from week to week, growing in confidence in regards to their artistic ability has been a real privilege and an opportunity that I am incredibly grateful for.

Caitlin Woodfield – Fine Art Student – De Montfort University

If you’d like to join the ‘Points of Interest’ arts and walking group we meet in Beauty and Utility Arts’ workshop in The Atkins between 2 and 4pm every Friday.

Get in contact with Katherine beforehand to book a place and talk about pricing

07908 750187 or beautyandutilityarts@hotmail.co.uk

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