Zain 5.JPG

Zain

Clinical Scientist

How long have they been volunteering to LSOM? 4 years

Why did you decide to become a volunteer?

I found out about London School of Mosaics (then Southbank Mosaics) after a holiday in Jordan, where I saw some amazing mosaics in the famous historical sites there, and visited a mosaic school where I saw people making mosaics in the same style as those.

When I returned to London I searched for places where I could learn to make my own mosaics, and took a short course with London School of Mosaics. I found out that I could continue to make mosaics as a volunteer, and have been coming back ever since.

What kind of things do you do as a volunteer?

Every week, I attend the young offender sessions, where young people from the local area learn how to make mosaics as part of their community service orders.

As well as helping the young people, I work on ongoing mosaic projects for London School of Mosaics. Previously this included large pieces and commissions, but more recently we have focused on making smaller pieces based on the mosaics in St Paul's Cathedral. These are sold in the gift shop at the Cathedral, and the money from that helps to fund the sessions with the young offenders, as well as session for local residents.

I am also on the Board of Directors for London School of Mosaic, and chair our quarterly meetings. This involves discussing strategy for the School, and making decisions about our future direction.

Sometimes I also write documents for the School, such as funding applications and reports.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer and how has it been of benefit to you?

I enjoy being part of an active community and contributing to projects that help others and the local community. I feel strongly that we offer the young people that we work with a unique experience that benefits them in later life.

I am grateful to have been able to learn to make mosaics independently and to develop my skills by working on projects for London School of Mosaic. I find the act of making mosaics to be extremely therapeutic, and enjoy making my own mosaics to give as gifts or to have in my home.

Being on the Board of Directors for London School of Mosaic has also given me executive-level experience at a relatively early-stage in my career, which has been useful for my professional development. Being part of long-term projects, like implementing the diploma and undergraduate degree programme in Mosaic Studies, has been particularly rewarding.


Jose.JPG

Jose

Retired Specialist Teacher

How long have they been volunteering to LSOM? 4/5 years

Why did you decide to become a volunteer?

I wanted to spend my retirement doing more of the things I could not do when I was working full time, particularly exploring my creativity. I immediately felt accepted and included at SBM/ LSoM and have been able to contribute more as my skills as a mosaicist have grown. I help out with the family sessions and also with the youth offenders as well as making pieces for St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s so good to have the opportunity to be with younger people without having to be “in charge” as I had to when I was working.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer and how has it been of benefit to you?

I love making mosaics! It’s incredibly therapeutic, calming and absorbing. And I love the atmosphere at LSoM. It’s the most inclusive and accepting group of people I’ve been involved with. We are a community, young and old, all cultures, races, religions and abilities and we contribute to creating wonderful works of art. What more could you ask for!

The courses run by LSoM are brilliant! I’ve done quite a few over the years, enjoyed them all and have learnt many different techniques. The artist/tutors are excellent teachers and inspirational artists.