Wednesday, August 6, 2014
6:35 PM

The benefits of volunteering are being championed by one of the main creative talents behind Great Yarmouth’s Out There festival - as residents are urged to get involved.

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Laurie Miller-Zutshi is creative developer at Seachange Arts and for the past three years has helped put together the five day festival’s jam-packed programme, which this year is offering opportunities several opportunities for locals to join in the fun.

Laurie is encouraging people of all ages to get involved as she has first hand knowledge of the rewards of volunteering, having worked her way up into her position after starting at Seachange as an unpaid helper.

She got involved with Seachange while researching her dissertation on theatre and development while studying at the UEA.

Her initial two month placement led to a permanent lead volunteer role, which saw her manage a team of helpers on a project for the first Out There festival in 2008. She was then offered a part-time paid role before she was appointed creative developer in 2012.

Laurie said: “I loved my time as a volunteer. It’s great fun, you get to meet lots of really nice people and get to work on an event that everyone in the town really cares about, and give back to your local community.

“And we have artists coming from all over the world and the volunteers are right at the heart of that.

“If you want experience and you’re interested in running events, it’s completely invaluable.”

Having worked on Out There from the start, Laurie is now one of the main organisers of the circus spectacular which takes over Yarmouth’s streets from September 17 - 21.

“I have been really lucky that I have got to see over the last seven years how the festival has changed and grown, and been a big part of that happening, which has been brilliant,” she added.

Seachange is offering two ways for people to get involved in Out There 2014; by joining its band of volunteers, who help with stewarding, publicity, show support and customer services, or becoming a Super Trouper, a new year-round scheme in which participants are rewarded for their time.

Laurie said: “With the year round volunteering it’s very much, if you’re willing to give us your time there’s lots of incentives we can offer in terms of training and on the job experience.

“And if you’re interested in meeting or working with artists we can offer special meet and greets or give free tickets to shows. We want to be able to give back to our volunteers to say thank you.”

■ For more information about both schemes, and how you can get involved in two of the festival shows, visit www.outtherefestival.com and follow the “join in” links.

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