The Eastgate depends on its volunteers. The team – currently around eighty strong – carries out all sorts of jobs from helping in the cafe and bar, to manning the box office and ushering more than two hundred live performances and films every year.
All sorts of people volunteer, some giving a couple of hours a week, others half or whole days on box office. The Eastgate offers Peebles High School pupils taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme the opportunity to meet their volunteering comitment. As well as looking after the audiences, ushers have the opportunity to see a huge range of performances. As part of a recent volunteer training session some of the volunteers recently told us why they do it:
Robina Hutton said: “Its good to make a contribution to our theatre”
Jean Westwater said: “Fabulous shows for free, fun, friends, feeling valued, films, festivals…phew!!
Catriona Staddon said: “The staff and volunteers are all great to work with and I love the team spirit”
and an anonymous contribution that the staff particularly love: “Nice laid back management who never make you feel stupid. Keeps the arts alive in the Borders”
New volunteers start with a short training/induction time when they learn about the building, how it works and everyone’s roles. There are also opportunities to train in specific areas such as First Aid, Basic Food Hygiene, Moving and Handling.
The Eastgate’s volunteer co-ordinator is Cath Shepheard who has, reluctantly, had to put a hold on taking on any new volunteers for now. Watch this space to find out when the list will re-open.