Ann's Story

Ann with students

Thirteen years ago, I knew nothing of Orpheus. Then one day, in 2001, I was asked if I would direct Orpheus students in their Christmas show. Their usual director was unable to do it and my name was given as someone who could help. From the moment I arrived and was taken into the Barn to meet everyone I was hooked. There were only about 13 apprentices then. I thought the show would just be a one-off but to my delight, a few weeks later, I was approached to see if I would take on another project.

For the next few years, I continued directing end of term shows as well as running weekly drama sessions. Then as Orpheus grew and developed, I began to step back from drama and have taken on different roles. For the last three years I have been working with Jenny Musselle on her script-writing. She has been an inspiration to me and I count it as a privilege to help her develop her creative talents.

Finally, my latest role is fundraising. I give talks to local groups, sharing my enthusiasm for Orpheus and raising awareness (and money!) for the place that has been so much a part of my life for so many years.

Maggie's Story

I was a volunteer LSA in the cookery classes for many years. The students would cook a meal during the morning session, which they would then eat altogether around a table, which they had laid themselves. They cooked meals from all round the world. Many of the students were very conservative in what they would eat and often reluctant to try new dishes but with a bit of persuasion they would try new things and were pleasantly surprised. I remember one student trying avocado for the first time. After the first mouthful his face lit up and he shouted out "It's awesome".
He must have gone home and told his mum how much he liked it as a few days later she 'phoned the college to say how pleased she was that her son was being more adventurous with his food.

More Volunteer Stories

Stuart, who has an autistic niece, started volunteering as a Befriender, and now works with Fundraising, 'raising awareness and funds for Orpheus, as well as looking for partnerships with various organisations that could mutually develop over time'.

Atalanta learnt so much at Orpheus, in particular, 'everyone is useful'.

Judy found herself reunited with two former students from her days working as a teacher in Education Special needs.

To be a volunteer at the Orpheus as been the most wonderful experience. It teaches you to be patient with the students, and understanding, all the staff are lovely and it is such a great place to be part of. - Carole, Orpheus Volunteer