- meeting for those who'd like to help

Monday, 5 March 2007

You feel a part of something vibrant, and you get the pick of the best events – just two of the reasons Hebden Bridge Arts Festival volunteers love their work!

Now, the Arts Festival is giving more people the chance to take part in this year’s event, which runs from June 30 to July 15, by staffing the box office in Albert Street.

An open meeting for anyone who would like to help out at the Festival is planned for March 20 at 7.30pm in the Arts Festival shop on Albert Street, Hebden Bridge.

There will be lots of regular volunteers on hand to give newcomers the low-down on what’s involved, and a chance to talk to Maggie Holborow, who organises the box office, and fellow Arts Festival Board member Ness Parfitt.

“We have a team of regular volunteers, many of whom have helped for several years, but we are always on the look-out for new people to join us,” says Maggie. “We aim to have two people on the desk each day, with an inexperienced volunteer paired with a more experienced one.”

Volunteers sell tickets for the events, both to visitors and over the telephone; answer questions about the events, the venues and facilities; sell items from the Festival exhibition, and generally act as welcoming and friendly representatives
of the Festival. 

“Previous volunteers have found that working in the shop is fun and a great way to meet people. A welcoming manner, familiarity with Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd and a reasonably methodical approach to paperwork are the main attributes we’re looking
for!” says Maggie.

“Over the years, we’ve worked out some good systems to ensure a very professional service to the public and, for new volunteers, there will be some training beforehand – nothing too onerous but just enough to make sure everyone is confident about what to do.”

Kerry McQuade of Hebden Bridge volunteered last year.

“You feel part of the wonderful co-operative effort that is the Hebden  Bridge Arts Festival,” she said, “and you also get a sense of how vibrant and popular the Festival is.”

“Working in the shop is a great way to give a bit back to your community, to meet new people and to get first pick of all  the best events ... so, a bit of altruism, a bit of
socialising and a bit of reward. What more could you ask for?” says Char March, who also helped out last year.

Anyone who can’t make it to the meeting can contact Maggie Holborow by dropping a note into the shop, by calling 844619 or e-mailing

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival promises to bigger and better than ever this year, as the special Freedom! Freedom? programme is added to the usual eclectic mix of music, drama, dance, film, art and comedy.

Freedom! Freedom? commemorates and celebrates the abolition of slavery, and opens with  the internationally renowned Grand Union Orchestra, premiering their brand new work Can’t Chain Up Me Mind at Hebden Bridge Picture House on Saturday, June 30.

Information about Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2007 will be available later this spring. In the meantime, if you’d like to be kept in touch with what’s planned, e-mail or visit

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