Volunteer scheme encourages student to pursue radio dreams

A sixth form student has praised the Wales Millennium Centre’s volunteering scheme for giving her the confidence to launch her own radio show.

Student Keisha Peets said the programme had provided her with the skills and insight she needed to enable her to pursue her radio ambitions.

The 17-year-old is taking part in the Centre’s scheme for six months taking on the role of volunteer usher.

The Centre’s volunteer scheme aims to deliver various projects and expand the reach of its work, while also providing opportunities to people in the local community. Its volunteer ushers play a vital role by supporting staff in welcoming millions of visitors annually, and contributing to the overall Centre experience.

Here Keisha talks about her volunteering experience at the Centre …

What skills did you learn during your time volunteering: While volunteering at the Centre I have learned a number of skills that have been really beneficial to me. One of the things I learned very quickly was how to communicate more effectively. Welcoming so many people weekly and helping them with lots of different requests really helped me to develop a greater ability to speak with people and understand their needs.

One of my greatest achievements since starting as an usher, has undoubtedly been growing in confidence through this experience.

Since starting at the Centre I have taken part in such a variety of projects, and dealt with such a large number of people, that my confidence has really grown. It has really helped me in my daily life and I have definitely noticed a difference at school.

It has also taught me how to work really well as a team, which has greatly helped with my sixth form work. During my time at the Centre I have enjoyed working together with the other ushers to ensure the needs of our visitors are met and they all had a memorable time.

What were your highlights? I was fortunate enough to see a huge variety of shows at this fantastic venue, something I wouldn’t necessarily have had the chance to do before. It has really given me a unique insight into what it takes to bring some of Wales’s biggest productions to the stage.

What do you feel you have achieved? I am really proud of how far I have come since starting my volunteering scheme. When I started I had a very basic knowledge of the technical side of the theatre, and now I am far more informed on how a production is actually put together. I have a far greater awareness of the many different roles in the theatre, from ushers right through to technicians, and completely appreciate what a huge undertaking each show is.

For me the greatest achievement has been my growth in confidence, which I have seen throughout my six months here thanks to the huge number of staff and visitors I see every week.

Would you consider a career in this area? After spending six months working here I really developed a greater understanding of how the Centre works. One of the areas that really interested me was the production team, something I’d consider a career in if I was to enter theatre work.

After working across both the theatre ushering department and Radio Platfform, I would feel confident enough to consider a career behind the scenes, possibly as a technician and hopefully, one day, a producer.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned? The biggest thing I have learnt as an usher is that you will not be able to please everyone.

The most important thing is to remain professional and try to find the best solution for a customer to ensure they enjoy their visit to the Centre.

How did this scheme help you?  This scheme helped me immeasurably, by enhancing my skills in this area, and opening my eyes to different career prospects. But also by boosting my confidence which has enabled me to pursue my interests.

Since leaving the scheme I have taken part in the Radio Platfform workshop, which has been really informative and helped me develop my understanding in this area. Thanks to this I now have my own radio show there which allows me to build on my presenting and production skills.

I couldn’t have done it without the Centre!

The Wales Millennium Centre’s Volunteering Scheme enables the venue to deliver various projects and expand the reach of its work, while also giving something back.  As with many other organisations, the Centre values the dedication of these people who are investing their time and supporting its cause. 

The scheme serves to enhance the service offering and provide opportunities to increase access to art, culture and creativity in an innovative and rewarding way.