As part of our Volunteers’ Week 2016 profile series, I caught-up with Reading Film Theatre (RFT) volunteer Ioulia Zoukova. Fresh from completing her finals, Ioulia shared with me her experience of volunteering her time and talent with RFT over the past three years.
How did you get involved in volunteering?
I’ve been here at Reading University studying Graphic Communication & Typography and have just finished the third year. One of our very first projects in the first year was to design mock-up programmes for Reading Film Theatre. I decided to send mine off to them to see what they thought, they wanted a few changes but they liked it. Then they asked me to design a few posters and then to come along to meetings, so it kind of went from there…. I just sort of stayed.
I hadn’t done much volunteering in the past, I helped out at school a bit but nothing on this scale. When I moved I managed my time differently and had a bit more time to dedicate to volunteering. It has definitely been worth it.
What does the volunteering involve?
I’ve designed lots of different things for them. I’ve done loads of fliers and posters to promote the films they are showing. I redesigned their logo last year which was a massive project; it’s used on their website, on their business cards and in their promotional material. I also go along to meetings and add my opinions and have a say in the decisions.
What do you get out of it?
In terms of my career, it’s been very useful because obviously it’s graphic design related, so it’s very good to say in an interview “well, I’ve done work for a cinema and they’ve put up my posters, they use my logo…”.
“It’s a nice feeling, they always appreciate what I do, they always say thank you and that they really like my work… Even when they don’t like it they say what they want to change and in the end they usually end up liking it… It’s just nice helping people out”
What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering?
I’d definitely say, first of all, try and use the skills that you have learnt on your course or maybe something that you’ve just picked up, a talent you have for something, because then you can contribute by doing something that someone else can’t.
I think the most important thing for me is definitely the response that you get back; the thanks and the appreciation of the time you put in and the work that you’ve done. I think that’s the most important thing really.
Do you have a skill or talent you could use to help others?
Find the role for you at www.rgneeds.me