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How would we manage without volunteers?

Art Fair Cheshire was started by volunteers over 20 years ago as a way to fundraise for East Cheshire Hospice and their Sunflower Centre. What started as a small collection of artists selling their work, has now grown to be a biennial Art Fair With over 80 artists exhibiting and giving a proportion of their sales to the Hospice. And the event is STILL completely run by volunteers!

So why would you want to get involved? People volunteer for lots of reasons; they might want to support a particular charity, or they might just enjoy getting out, meeting new people and gaining new skills. Whatever your reason for getting involved, you can guarantee that it will be rewarding and you know that you'll be making a difference to your community.

Running a large exhibition involves quite a lot of work, so we have volunteers at all stages. The current committee is made up of people whose backgrounds include event organising, marketing, general management and interior design - we all bring something to the table, even if it's just a willingness to roll our sleeves up and get the job done! From sorting out the website to liaising with artists there is always plenty to do.

Once the exhibition is on, we always need a huge team of people to help to put the event together. Here's a list of some the jobs that we need doing during Art Fair Cheshire:

  • Putting up banners/distributing leaflets - if you are happy to get out in the fresh air to ensure that people know our event is on this might be just the job!

  • Receiving art and managing the inventory - before we start we need the art! Over 3 days we receive all of the art and craft into the Town Hall, check it in and distribute it to the relevant gallery. If you like sitting at a desk this is for you - if you like fetching and carrying then distributing the artwork might be of interest.

  • Welcoming people to the Town Hall - such an important role. Meeting, greeting, explaining and a bit of persuasion is required to sell raffle tickets too!

  • Cake making - very important as our pop up cafe is an important part of our event. Our homemade cakes are always a draw for visitors.

  • Working in the cafe - making teas and coffees and serving cake, our cafe is simple but a nice place for people to meet and relax

  • Stewarding - we have three different galleries and working in any of these means you get to see the exhibition in detail. The role is to help out any visitors who might want to know more about a particular artist or painting, and hopefully purchase something.

  • Sales Desk - we have two sales desks and a very simple till system to take payments. There are always two people on the sales desk so you can work together when sales come through.

If you're reading this, then you're probably already considering volunteering. We'd love you to join us! It is fun, rewarding and a great way to meet new, interesting people, as well as helping to support East Cheshire Hospice. You can register your interest on our volunteer page and we'll be in touch to explain more. Whether volunteering or not, we hope you'll be able to join us in September for an extra special, post-lockdown Art Fair Cheshire.


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