We want you to learn more about our volunteers, so each week we will be sharing a Q&A with one. This week is a brilliant volunteer at ERT called Chris.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Malta and moved to the UK when I was 2. I lived in Yorkshire until I was 5, then moved to Portsmouth. I was sent to boarding school in Sussex aged 6-17 and split my holidays between Kent and London (Dad’s home) and Yorkshire (Mum’s home). I moved back to Yorkshire when I was 17.
What is one of your best memories from childhood?
I used to enjoy our Summer outings with my Aunt. Each year she would squeeze 5 children into her little car with pop out indicators and take us on an adventure. We visited the theme parks of the late ’60s such as the funfair at Cleethorpes (via the Hull to New Holland ferry) or the water chute and rides in East Park. She taught me how to drink from a shared bottle of fizzy pop correctly (not returning your mouthful to the bottle) and we were allowed to make chip sandwiches. The highlight of these outings were the sleepovers after. My aunt ran a newsagents and we were allowed after hours trips to the sweet counter to select delicacies from the penny tray.
What was/is your job?
I still teach a couple of Pilates classes each week.
What is one of your best memories from your working life?
Creating a calendar with my business partner along the lines of the Calendar Girls was a real achievement. We raised over £12000 for a breast cancer charity and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Our next door neighbour was banned from the garden by his wife when the photography of semi-naked women with fitness equipment was under way.
Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?
I enjoy gardening, reading, theatre and cooking – is a new granddaughter a favourite hobby?
What is your favourite song?
Hard to narrow this one down but I’ll go for Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ although I also enjoy Jeff Buckley’s version. Can I sneak Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ in as well?
What do you normally do when volunteering your time to the theatre?
I do front-of-house and bar. I have also recently started coordinating the volunteer lists organising shifts for the performances.
What is one of your best memories from volunteering with ERT?
The sense of euphoria after A Christmas Carol began the ERT journey. The professional performances, the wonderful atmosphere and the positive audience feedback was truly uplifting.
What has been your favourite ERT production?
Hard to choose one performance. A Christmas Carol will always hold special memories as will Goodnight Mr. Tom, Hamlet, Beryl and the very powerful Steady Rain.
And finally, what is your favourite thing about Christmas?
The peacefulness of traffic-free surrounding streets allowing the church bells to ring out clearly; the cheerful greetings from fellow dog walkers and time spent with family and friends.
Thank you for everything you do Chris!