A Banbury man has recently taken a change in direction, when he joined the team of volunteers at Compton Verney, after nearly thirty years teaching at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire.
Crispin Robinson, of Middleton Cheney, took early retirement from his role as Senior Deputy Head and now works as a gallery volunteer at the internationally recognised art gallery and registered charity.
12 miles north-west of Banbury, Compton Verney is an art gallery housed in a Grade 1 listed 18th-century country mansion, set in 120 acres of parkland landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
Crispin says: “I was initially drawn to Compton Verney because of its reputation for great art and creativity. Before becoming a teacher, I studied Renaissance art at the Courtauld Institute and then went on to create the History of Art Departments at Tudor Hall School, Banbury and then also at Stowe School – so the art collections, as well as the desire to give something back to the community were my initial motivations. But since I started volunteering last Summer, the role has given me so much more than I expected. I’ve been a teacher all my life, but here I’m mainly dealing with adults which creates a different dynamic. I’m really enjoying the interaction with visitors, who often make astute observations and ask great questions – it’s certainly broadening my knowledge of art history!”
“One of the best aspects of volunteering is the camaraderie and banter among fellow volunteers and staff. I’ve been made to feel extremely welcome and part of the team. But as well as being great from a social perspective, I’m also finding it mentally stimulating. Overall, it’s opened up a whole new world and is having a very positive impact on my life. I’d urge anyone interested to come and try it!”
Geraldine Collinge, Chief Executive of Compton Verney says:
“We are delighted Crispin decided to join our team of volunteers. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that our visitors are benefitting from – his ability to engage adults and children alike is wonderful for the many families that visit us. The breadth of experience brought by our volunteers from all walks of life is what makes our team so special.”
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, develop new skills and have some fun in a friendly and supportive team. It can help you develop the skills you need for future studies or careers, and can be a great way to get involved with something that has a positive impact on your community.
Compton Verney welcomes volunteers from all background and interests – there’s something for everyone to get involved with and make a difference – from helping out with the Forest School; driving the shuttle bus, to volunteering in the gallery.
If you would like to find out more about joining Compton Verney’s team of volunteers visit: Volunteering at Compton Verney