Up for Arts Merseyside

Up For Arts LogoLatest:
Up for Arts poetry sessions at The Bluecoat

Volunteering in the Arts Volunteers sought

Up for Arts is based within BBC Radio Merseyside, where it benefits from free radio airtime. The project produces a wide range of broadcasting including radio features, trailers and promotions as well as stories about arts participation and volunteering to inspire and motivate listeners. All materials are produced by Up for Arts Broadcast and Helpline Manager, Helen Jones.

Features direct listeners to the radio station helpline which is run by a 15-strong volunteer team, affectionately known as the A-Team! They refer listeners to amateur arts groups all over Liverpool where hundreds of volunteering opportunities exist. They are also able to give advice and information about arts participation.

People painting

Up For Arts also runs arts taster events and workshops to engage with BBC Radio Merseyside listeners, hard to reach communities and priority groups.

These enjoyable occasions help people to see the health, social and community benefits of arts participation and volunteering. Participants regularly come away with new skills, greater social confidence and new friends!

The project is funded by a Liverpool PCT through their decade of Health and Wellbeing Decade of Health and Wellbeing and is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing established by New Economics Foundation.

Voluntary Arts England intends to use this model in other areas in partnership with BBC local radio.

Up For Crafts

Up For Crafts is a new project in Merseyside aimed at promoting heritage textile crafts. It is a 2 year project which started in April 2012 and is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. It aims to capitalise on the rediscovery of crafts at a local level and spark new interest in learning heritage skills.

There will be three on-air campaigns a year, each featuring a different craft. There will be interviews, trails and promotional features as well as potted history guides explaining how these crafts have evolved and highlighting key milestones.

The on-air activity will be supported by an exciting range of events including taster days and sampling sessions, exhibitions, talks, community challenge events and workshops. A large event focussing on knitting is planned for September 2012.There will also be printed material including potted history guides for each craft.

The A-Team will be taking listeners’ calls and directing people towards arts participation opportunities in their area. It is hoped that the project will strengthen the existing Up For Arts work and increase arts participation by building membership of local craft groups. It will also have the benefit of improving people’s mental and physical health as they learn new skills and make new friends.

Listen to project director Laraine Winning explaining more about the initiative on BBC Radio Merseyside.


To find out more about Up For Arts and get involved, contact the A-Team on 0151 794 0984.

Voluntary Arts is the operating name of The Voluntary Arts Network (VAN) which is registered in Scotland as Company No. 139147 and Charity No. SC020345. Registered Office: The Creative Exchange, 29 Constitution Street, Edinburgh EH6 7BS.