Volunteering with Streetwise Opera

We recently launched a 12-week volunteer work placement scheme for people who have experienced homelessness. Our first two placement volunteers describe their experiences:

‘Streetwise Opera has given me my voice back and really helped me regain my confidence. Because Streetwise believed in me and devised a strategy for during my placement, I no longer felt like I had nothing to offer an employer. While I was on placement, I felt courageous enough to attend an interview for a paid position and was actually successful in acquiring the job!

‘During my time at Streetwise, I was tasked with doing an audit of cultural venues throughout the UK, working alongside regional staff to see if we could find more performances and events for Streetwise performers to attend. All members of staff and workshop leaders went out of their way to help me and make me feel part of the team. Lucinda (Progression Manager) really listened and offered guidance as to what I wanted to achieve, and Mark (Artistic Director of Workshops) even booked a studio on a Saturday to coach me in public speaking as this was an area I particularly needed help with. 

‘I have volunteered with lots of charities over the past few years, but this work placement really stands out as an incredible opportunity. I’m starting to feel like ‘me’ again, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time.’

Neil Penlington (pictured)

‘Volunteering at Streetwise Opera has been such a joy. The team are so lovely that I wish the placement could be longer. I have been given responsibility and treated as a professional from the outset, which has really helped me to visualise myself back in the workforce again.

‘I have really loved assisting the workshop team – attending workshop sessions has been a real highlight. I have also gained so much from the one-to-one time that has been spent helping me identify and write applications for jobs within the arts. I have really felt my confidence increase.’

Kathryn Langford

For more information about our work placements or to refer someone for a placement, contact Progression Manager Lucinda Meredith on

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