Volunteer of the week! Laurie Boyle

Last week we announced our volunteer call out for January 2020! If you’re thinking of applying to our programme, why not hear from the experience of some of our other volunteers.

This week our volunteer of the week is…Laurie Boyle!

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?

Last year I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, where I studied Textile design. This involves learning about the process of making fabrics using a variety of skills such as dyeing, embroidery and screen printing. I learned how to transform my own art work into pieces that could be used for fashion or interiors and a great deal about the qualities of fabrics.

In what workshop did you volunteer?

The ‘Create’ visual arts workshops on a Saturday morning (Aug- Oct)

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?

A few of my friends had previously been involved in helping out at workshops and spoken with great enthusiasm about their time in doing so. After being away from the studio environment for a while I was keen to expand on my experience, and think about ways I could become involved in more rewarding ventures- not just creating under pressure for a personal project.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?

Absolutely, I found it such a positive and rewarding experience. I developed a greater understanding of how those with a disability can communicate through artwork. I was overwhelmed with pride for what the kids achieved over these weeks and being a part of their development was really special. The enthusiasm of everyone involved at Project Ability makes it such a brilliant and fulfilling environment to be in.

What have you learned from your experience with us?

The best part of project ability, for me was realising the potential that art has to lift peoples spirits and allow such unique self-expression. I believe it’s so important to encourage all children to do something creative, that can get them excited and interested in their own talents.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?

The work I did with Caitlin, particularly with using rollers to paint combined with tape to make a beautiful multi-layered piece stood out for me. I saw her really come out her shell as she gained confidence in her abilities. She wasn’t afraid to express herself and do her own thing, sometimes I’d be helping her to paint with rollers and she’d decide she was using hands instead! She was a lot of fun to work with and such an inspiring individual.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?

Of course, particularly if you love to create and are interested in a new experience. It’s so worthwhile when you see the children get excited and enthusiastic about their work and you know you’ve played a part in making their experience.


Thank you for giving up your time each week Laurie, your help is invaluable to our artists and to the running of Project Ability!


Read more volunteer stories.

Apply for our January 2020 volunteer programme.