Pilot scheme proves a hit

HELPS BOTH SIDES: Marc Eades is one of a number of volunteers at Gainsborough's House in Sudbury.
HELPS BOTH SIDES: Marc Eades is one of a number of volunteers at Gainsborough's House in Sudbury.
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A pilot project to get more people helping at Gainsborough’s House, the birthplace of artist Thomas Gainsborough, has been hailed a success after more than 40 new volunteers were recruited.

The project, which focuses on people out of work, is to be extended at the Gainsborough Street museum.

Project manager Nick Winch said: “The stories that volunteers recounted showed how much they valued the experience.

“Volunteers told us that we helped them learn new skills and build their confidence.

“As an organisation, we couldn’t survive without volunteers and also those who give donations.”

Marc Eades, 26, from Spicer Way, Great Cornard, volunteered to carry out research work at the museum.

“Daily life can be difficult at times, especially being unemployed,” he said.

“This project gave me a purpose, helping me to gain more confidence. It has also helped me visualise my goal and made me more determined to achieve it”.

Volunteers have so far given more than 1,200 hours of their time, and have been involved in a variety of jobs, including marketing, helping in the coffee shop and customer service roles.