Profile of a volunteer

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Since retiring 12 months ago I have been volunteering at Rowan two days a week, which is a nice routine without being too restrictive on the rest of my time.  I work mainly in the woodwork studio alongside other members of staff producing commissioned work and other items for sale, which involves preparing the major pieces for finishing by the students.

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Having had a career working in an office, it is great to get my hands dirty (literally) in the machine shop where I get to use all the big, professional machines (big boy’s “toy”).  Wood is such a tactile material and it is very satisfying to be involved in helping to create works of art from the raw product.  I have also learnt many new techniques which I would not have otherwise been exposed to.

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Perhaps most satisfying is the interaction with the learning-disabled students both in woodwork and other sessions (some of whom enjoy it so much that they have been coming to Rowan for many years).  Many are capable artists and produce imaginative work with just a little help with the bigger tasks and the challenging machinery.

Peter Hamilton Wason