Tara’s Arts Factory Journey


I am Tara, Im from Aberdare and Ive been volunteering for the Arts Factory for 7 months. I done this because I was suffering depression and needed a gateway back into the working world. I wasn’t sure to expect from it but I can sincerely say that it has been a most enjoyable and rewarding experience I have had.

I have learned new skills, met new people all of all different backgrounds and abilities and I have always felt part of team here which has done wonders for my confidence and ability to approach different challenging situations.

The main thing about the Arts Factory is that it has been such a laugh working here, I recommend it to anyone who suffers depression or feels lonely because coming here has put a massive smile on my face and a sense of achievement in my heart.

I think it is a really valuable for anyone to get involved with the projects that go on at the centre because I think anyone would love it here, there is so many different activities going on, interesting people to meet and challenges to take on.

I think as well as helping me back in to work the Arts Factory will always have a place in my heart because I think it is a one of a kind place that not only helps people but gives them real purpose and enjoyment .

Gareth’s Journey


Volunteering has gotten me out of the house and has built my confidence to do things. It has taken bravery and time to adjust. I knew I had to do something as I was in a downward spiral. I enjoy what I do. I am currently involved in two autism groups.



“I came to the arts project not really knowing what to expect or where I was going but as soon as I walked through the door at my first session I was put at ease. Everyone was really lovely and welcoming, which helped me to relax. The sessions about mental health I took part in helped me to realise I wasn’t alone, there were others with the same problems as me and it really helped sharing my experiences and issues with everyone. My confidence grew, I made new friends and my anxiety lowered. I am now volunteering with an amazing organisation and getting out and about, living my life and it’s all thanks to the arts project. Louise helped me to realise there were others like me and how I can use my personal experiences and skills to help others. If it wasn’t for the arts project and their sessions on mental health I think I would still be hiding from the world at home but now I’m on to a new chapter in my life, thank you for everything”

Ceri’s Journey


Volunteering has improved my mental health and has helped my confidence. Being around animals has helped me to relax. Thank You.

Neil’s Arts Factory Journey


Neil came to Arts Factory in January 2010 after being referred by the Jobcentre. When Neil first came to us he was suffering from low self- esteem and had no confidence. He was shy and at first didn’t engage with the other volunteers who attended Arts Factory.  After completing the appropriate training, Neil was placed on the books project. Neil was trained to Quality Check and list the books on Amazon.

“I’m in my late thirties. I spent fourteen years working as a printer and then my back went. I had damaged the discs in my spine and I was out of work. I already had a speech impediment and by then my confidence was really low. I went to the job centre looking for light work and I was so nervous I could hardly get a word out – so they sent me to Remploy! It would have been a comedy but it was actually my life. Luckily someone at Remploy realised it was just a stammer, not a learning disability, and they suggested I find out about volunteering at Arts Factory instead.”

As the weeks passed you could see that Neil’s confidence was growing, he interacted more with the other volunteers and helped support the volunteers who had complex needs. Neil helped to train the new volunteers who came to Arts Factory and went on to become a Team Leader.

As Neil’s confidence grew his stammer became less apparent and he decided that he would like to pursue a career as a professional support worker. “I don’t think that Arts Factory always gets the support it deserves – from the local community of from funders. There is no-one else around here doing this work. People need it and we need to keep it going”.

Neil attended Arts Factory for 3 + half years before leaving for full time employment. Since leaving Arts Factory for full time employment, Neil has done PSV licence and is now employed as a bus driver for Stagecoach.


To see the latest Volunteering Vacancies Here and then complete our fill in an online volunteer application form Here or to chat to someone contact Lisa Wills at 01443 757954.