From the welcome chatter of course members through the front door, to the friendly bustling kitchen and administrative staff, I was instantly made to feel welcome the moment I first stepped into Benslow Music to undertake a volunteer position with the charity. Upon arrival a clear set of objectives were agreed upon with the Head of Music Dr Christopher Roberts, before I was given a comprehensive tour of the beautiful property and gardens, which even included a brief hello to the honorary resident peacocks, bees and other local wildlife.
Over the six-month duration of my placement, I gained invaluable interpersonal skills, meeting clientele from all over the world coming to a range of vocal, instrumental and folk courses, as well as cultivating a lasting connection to the staff and charity that will undoubtedly go on to shape my future musical and professional activities. Beginning with getting to know the course catalogue through aiding in targeted marketing campaigns, to forming new relationships with tutors, creating social media content, and finally covering the Reception desk fielding enquires about course bookings and residential requests, my time at Benslow Music was ever evolving with something new to learn around every corner.
Carline, Laura, Linda, Joanne and Chris in the downstairs office were extremely supportive as I learnt new databases and systems, whilst the kitchen and housekeeping staff never let me go hungry for even a moment with the frequent array of Benslow bakes that were on offer. I will never forget my time spent supporting this establishment, and to all those that supported me on my journey thank you very much for making my time here a wonderful experience and I hope that our paths cross again in the future. To all those thinking about volunteering, I would say without a doubt to do it!
Gayle Walker (Volunteer January-July 2020)