1001 Faces of Volunteering

An innovative exhibition giving a striking insight into the volunteering community in Cheshire West opened in a Chester art gallery this week.

1001 Faces of Volunteering is a photography exhibition that demonstrates the diversity and enormity of volunteering in the local community. 61 local volunteer involving organisations have taken part in the exhibition including Share Shop, Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Countess of Chester Hospital, Storyhouse, Wesley Church Centre, Chester City FC, Chester Pride and Citizens Advice.

 1001 Faces of Volunteering is the brainchild of Chester Voluntary Action (CVA) collaborating with Flipside Radio and Chester Aid to The Homeless (CATH). Many of the 1001 candid photos have been taken by the clients of CATH and shot in black and white, each image serving as a visual representation of the unpaid support provided by volunteers on a daily basis.

Clare Harrison, Deputy Chief Officer at CVA said “The exhibition is in recognition of the diversity of the volunteer force in our community and the invaluable support volunteers give.  Collectively volunteers make a unique and powerful contribution towards tackling many of the challenges in our community; they are the social fabric of society and without volunteers many essential services would struggle to operate and our local community would no longer flourish.

We hope 1001 Faces of Volunteering will inspire people to think about their skills and interests and to consider giving their time to support others too.”

John Buchanan, Education Manager at CATH and a key facilitator on the project added “CATH relies on a number of amazing volunteers and we have used our clients to volunteer their time by documenting the role volunteers play in both our organisation and other charities too. Many of the photos have been taken by first time photographers, with some absolutely stunning results.”

The exhibition will also be accompanied by and audio installation ‘the voices of volunteering’, which has been captured and produced by the volunteer team at Flipside Radio, a community radio station for Chester that celebrates people, music and culture within our community.

The exhibition takes place at Chester Art Centre, 132 Northgate Street between 17 August and 2 September. Chester Art Centre promotes art in the community and is a platform for local artists’ work.