Student volunteers taking Centre stage

This year, during the week commencing 19 February, students will be encouraged to give a little back to the community as part of student volunteer week. To celebrate the 17th anniversary of student volunteer week, we thought we’d share a profile of one or our volunteers, to show you that volunteering is not just something you do for other’s. Lauren Thornell, a music student at Cardiff university and a regular on our volunteer scheme, took the time to speak to us about her work here.

Can you tell us a little about any project you take part in:

The project that I take part in is part of the volunteer scheme at Wales Millennium Centre. The Centre has 3 venues: The Donald Gordon Theatre, Hoddinott Hall and the Weston Studio. Volunteers work alongside the Customer Experience Managers to ensure every customer has a delightful experience whilst at The Centre.

Why did you decide to volunteer at the Centre?

I decided to volunteer as Cardiff and the community have given me so much as a student. I wanted to give something back to a city that has given so much to me. Volunteering would allow me to meet new people who have a similar interest in the performing arts as I do. As I am a Music student, I have a keen interest in shows and productions and enjoy listening to a wide range of music, listening to how sound is integrated into performance.

Can you tell a little about what a normal shift?

When I volunteer at The Centre, all staff and volunteers meet for an initial briefing session. We are then sent to the area which we are looking after to carry out seat checks. The supervisor prepares clearance via the radio/walkie talkie to confirm us to open the doors of the auditorium to the public. My duty is to warmly welcome the public with a smile who have travelled from a wide range of places to come together in The Centre to see the performance.

What’s your favourite part about volunteering here?

The best thing about volunteering is getting to watch the shows for free! The more dates you volunteer for, allows you to see the show and hear the music from every angle and notice intricate details that you wouldn’t necessarily notice at first glance. As well as watching the shows, being a volunteer allows me to contribute to the vibrant happy atmosphere that the WMC has to offer. Ensuring that every customer has an outstanding experience and essentially comes back to experience and support performing arts.

We’re very lucky to have such a strong team of volunteers here with us at the Centre, but we’re always looking for more people to join. Whilst we welcome people of all ages and occupations, our shift system is very flexible, which makes it a great fit for students. If you’d like to find out more about the work that Lauren does, and to learn more about how you could fit volunteering in to your university timetable, click here.