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.

Alison's Story

My name is Alison and I have been a volunteer at Orpheus since in 2013. I had run my own business for quite a few years and when I decided to retire I needed a new challenge to fill my time. I approached the Tandridge Volunteer Centre, a wonderful organisation who told me about The Orpheus Centre. Although I live locally, I knew very little about the college but was very interested in working with young people . On my arrival, I was thrown in the deep end as I was asked to accompany a group of students to do their weekly shop in Morrisons, this required a balance of being a friend who encouraged the students to make decisions and a surrogate mum
who had to say no to massive bags of treats!

I initially started helping on the reception desk, a role which puts you at the very centre of the daily goings on, and was also involved in one classroom based session a week . This helped me to really get to know the students who, to this day, never fail to lift my mood and make me smile. I am currently helping the Butterfly Catering Company one afternoon a week; they have formed a small company to provide catering for both college and outside events, this gives the students really useful skills to take with them into the outside world.
As a volunteer I have been involved in numerous fundraising activities, assisted with the Golf Day, served teas at Open Day, sold raffle tickets at the Shows, sorted piles of clothes for Clear Out Your Closet, helped with talks to organisations such as the W.I., helped with Covid testing,helped with company volunteer days just to name a few!

Volunteering at Orpheus is extremely varied and takes as much or as little time as you have available, I have met hundreds of students who have inspired and entertained me, worked with many wonderful members of Staff and made great friends amongst my fellow volunteers. The Orpheus Centre is a truly inspiring place and it has been a privilege to watch the students blossom during their time there; I always feel that I get back far l more than I put in and love being part of it.