Seeking volunteer VocalEyes Ambassadors (Nottingham and Bristol/Bath areas)

Apologies, we got the link wrong in our e-card. If you were expecting the article on our User Panel, please go to this page: Would you like to join the VocalEyes User Panel? For the Ambassador scheme, read on.

Would you like to be a champion for audio description in your local area and help to make links between the local blind / partially sighted community and local arts venues as a volunteer VocalEyes Ambassador?

  • Do you enjoy going to theatres, museums and heritage sites?
  • Are you passionate about the rights of blind and partially sighted people?
  • Are you a good communicator, who is articulate, sociable and tactful?
  • Are you connected with, or willing to connect with local sight loss groups?
  • Do you use email and ideally also social media (Facebook, Twitter)?

If your answer to most of the questions above is ‘yes’, then you are the person we are looking for.

VocalEyes is a national charity providing access to the arts for blind and partially sighted people through both live and recorded audio-description including; audio-described theatrical performances at a variety of venues, access to museums, galleries and heritage sites through live audio-described tours by VocalEyes-trained staff and volunteers plus recorded audio-described guides and descriptions of art works.

In the nearly 20 years that VocalEyes has been around, the number of theatres and museums offering audio-described performances and tours has grown considerably; blind and partially sighted arts lovers have greater opportunities and choice than ever before.

We are seeking to recruit two volunteer VocalEyes Ambassadors in both Nottingham and the surrounding area  and in the Bath / Bristol area for an initial one-year pilot project to help build and nurture relationships between the local sight loss community and local arts venues.

What do we want you to do as a volunteer Ambassador?

As a volunteer Ambassador we would be asking for you to dedicate around 2-3 days a month (though likely broken up into a few quarter or half-days), working on making connections and providing channels of communication between the local blind / partially sighted community and local arts venues.

This may take the form of:

  • Using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to promote audio-described events to blind / partially sighted people and help to grow an online community among those who use social media.
  • Attending local blind / partially sighted group meetings, sharing information about audio description of the arts in general, and upcoming local opportunities in particular.
  • Making contact with local Talking Newspapers to encourage them to promote audio-described theatre performances and tours at museums, galleries and heritage sites.
  • Work closely with local arts venues, potentially joining their Access Panel (if they have one) or build a relationship with their access manager, or other relevant staff, to champion their audio-description offer to blind / partially sighted people and to channel feedback and comments from blind / partially sighted people.
  • Attend 1 – 2 meetings a year with other volunteer Ambassadors and VocalEyes staff.

What does this opportunity offer you in return?

  • An opportunity to work on a voluntary basis with a national charity that provides and champions access to the arts for blind and partially sighted people
  • Free tickets to a number of audio-described theatre performances and audio-described events at museums, galleries and heritage sites during the duration of the project.
  • Reimbursement of relevant travel expenses for any meetings
  • An opportunity to gain experience in arts audience development and to improve access and diversity within the arts sector

We’re proposing to have 2 Ambassadors in each region – with the idea that the two people can share some tasks between them, work together on others, and that they will communicate with their fellow Ambassador directly and independently of us.

What sort of support will you get from VocalEyes?

VocalEyes staff will come and meet with you to discuss the project, including:

  • Channels of communication between VocalEyes and yourself.
  • A starter pack containing details and contacts of arts venues and groups and organisations that represent the local blind / partially sighted community
  • VocalEyes staff member will accompany each Ambassador on 1 or 2 meetings at local arts venues and groups in the local sight loss community during the year of the project.
  • VocalEyes will arrange 1 or 2 meetings for all the Ambassadors to meet up during the duration of the project to share feedback and help evaluate the pilot scheme

Next Steps…

If you are interested in putting yourself forward to become a volunteer VocalEyes Ambassador then please email [email protected] with a few lines about why you are interested, and how you might fit this great opportunity to champion audio description of the arts for blind and partially sighted people.