Helen RandleHelen joined Voluntary Arts in December 2012, and is the ‘Up for Arts’ Broadcaster based at BBC Radio Lancashire in Blackburn.

"I like to think I’ve got a creative streak" says Helen, "but probably have to admit that I’m more enthusiastic than truly skilful! I always love to have a go though, whether it’s pottery, crafting, photography, dancing or singing – you simply can’t help but have a huge smile on your face when you take part in something collective and creative".

Helen graduated from Leeds University with a joint honours degree in French and German, and started her working life in Marketing for travel companies including Thomson Holidays and Airtours. Travel is a real passion, and through work and in her own time Helen has travelled extensively around the world, backpacking solo for 18 months and enjoying exploring places off the beaten track – including swimming in Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, and coming face to face with gorillas in Uganda!

She switched careers from marketing into journalism after volunteering with a local community radio station in the Ribble Valley where she lives. She loved it so much that she gave up her job in Marketing to pursue a career in journalism, completing a post-graduate course in Broadcast Journalism in 2007.

Since then Helen’s been a regular voice on BBC Radio Lancashire, as a reporter and presenter, covering a variety of stories and meeting the wonderful friendly locals across the county, alongside running the Up for Arts programme.

“I love the reaction you get when we run our arts taster events and people discover or re-discover their love of amateur arts. Special moments include a 90 year old joining us for a Ukulele workshop, and grinning ear to ear as he got to grips with it, and others joining ‘Lancashire in harmony’ singing workshops held in libraries, and finding their voice after being told they couldn’t sing by their teachers at school decades ago! The smiles on their faces make it all worthwhile and it just goes to show the incredible power of getting creative.”