Countess volunteers featured in photography exhibition
Volunteers from the Countess of Chester Hospital have been featured in Chester Voluntary Action’s (CVA) 1,001 Faces of Volunteering exhibition.
(left to right) Anastasia Tilston, artistic director at Chester Art Centre; Paul Davies, development worker at Chester Voluntary Action; Sue Cornick, volunteers coordinator at Countess of Chester Hospital; John Buchanan, education manager at Chester Aid to the Homeless.
The presentation showcases portraits of 1,001 volunteers from across the region in a variety of roles, including some of those at the hospital.
CVA deputy chief officer Clare Harrison devised the attraction, which is at Chester Art Centre until at least 2 September, as a way to highlight just how many people give up their time to help others.
"It is about demonstrating the enormity of volunteering, diversity in volunteering and the vital importance the third sector plays in our community," Clare said.
Not only does the project draw attention to volunteers in the area, it also relied upon them to make it happen.
Some of the photographs were actually taken by clients from Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH), while community radio station Flipside provided an audio loop of interviews that continuously plays in the art installation.
"We wanted volunteers to surround visitors on the walls and via the audio loop because that reflects what happens in society," Clare said. "People don't always realise they're there, but the work completed by volunteers is the backbone of any community."
CATH Education Manager John Buchanan added: “Some of the people who’ve taken photographs in this exhibition have never done so before. It’s forced them to think about what they’ve been doing and be creative. It’s been a really positive project.”
Countess voluntary services coordinator Sue Cornick was thrilled to see a host of hospital volunteers such as meet and greet stalwart Mike Howe, 83, taking pride of place on the wall.
"It was lovely to see a large number of our volunteers represented, but outside of that what I really liked was seeing the smiles on all the faces up there," Sue said. "That really shows the genuine caring attitude, which I've always found working with volunteers, and it's really inspirational."
Clare added: "Having worked alongside Sue for a long time, I know how well the volunteers are supported at the Countess and I know what a difference they make there. It's great to show that and it's even better to see people like Mike coming in and their joy when they spot their photo."
A total of 61 charities were involved with the project, while Bootle-based Poto Studios and Cat ‘N’ Mouse Design in Wrexham provided printing and design support free of charge.
:: The 1,001 Faces of Volunteering exhibition will be at Chester Art Centre, 132 Northgate Street, CH1 2HT, until 2 September. For more information visit here.
:: If you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities at the Countess of Chester Hospital please visit - /working-with-us/volunteering.aspx