A healthy picture
Alumni Trevor Jones and Amelia Calvert talked to us about the therapeutic qualities of art and the importance of volunteering to the student experience.
Art in Healthcare (AiH) is a Scottish arts health charity whose vision is for original, contemporary art to be accessible to everyone in care environments.
We talked to Executive Director, Trevor Jones and Outreach Manager, Amelia Calvert about their journey to the charity, the relationship between the arts and health fields, and what, as graduates of the University, they drew on from their time at Edinburgh.
Art in the community
Amelia first became involved with AiH as a volunteer. The combination of the arts and health working together appealed to the dual aspects of her academic life; a degree in History of Art from Edinburgh and another in Occupational Therapy from Brunel University.
The role gradually evolved into 4 paid days a week and now, as Outreach Manager, Amelia is responsible for an outreach programme that runs over 100 workshops a year alongside an annual exhibition showcasing the artwork produced.
I most enjoy the interaction I have with a wide range of people, from volunteers and artists to managers and practitioners.
An eye-opening experience
With a degree in Fine Art and a dissertation that investigated the connection between one’s environment and the healing process; it is no surprise that Trevor’s supervisor highlighted the Assistant Director vacancy at AiH.
It was, however, his time as a volunteer at the children’s hospital whilst a student, that opened his eyes to the power and importance of the healing environment.
I’d meet so many children who were really very ill and who literally grew up in the hospital. It also reinforced the importance of having an engaging, friendly and visually stimulating hospital environment – especially for children!
The value of time
Because of these experiences both are unequivocal in their views regarding the value of volunteering for current students.
Amelia, in keeping with her own personal history, favours a gung-ho approach to,
get experience and see what’s out there.
For Trevor, successful volunteering is all about the passion. He advises that current students choose an area that excites and inspires them because the commitment needed to succeed in the charity sector needs to be driven by much more than just going through the motions.
Working for the charity sector provides the opportunity to make a real difference in helping those who need it most but it isn’t always easy. But it is one of the most rewarding sectors of all to work in.
Tell us your story
Do you have a story that can inspire current students and fellow alumni?
Do you have an unusual job, have you started your own business after years of working for a faceless corporation, or perhaps you work for a large multinational corporation and love it?
Please get in touch using the contact details below and we’ll help you share your hard won wisdom and experience via the alumni website.