Volunteer interview with Anne Grange

Anne is an adult education tutor specialising in creative writing, plus a freelance editor and author. She currently lives in Sheffield and has kindly agreed to answer some questions around her background and her volunteering work for Walkley Library.

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  • Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’ve lived in Sheffield for twenty years now, since coming here as a student in 1995! I studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield, and later went on to do a PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University, and an MA in writing, also at Sheffield Hallam. I currently work as an adult education tutor for Derbyshire County Council, specialising in creative writing and working with lots of different groups, including dementia patients and adults with learning disabilities. I’m also a freelance editor who helps local writers to get published. I’m a writer too, with one published novel, Outside Inside, and I’m just starting to edit my second novel!

  • How did you become interested in volunteering for Walkley Library?

I became interested in volunteering for Walkley Library because it’s such a beautiful and valuable local recourse, and as a local resident, I wanted to help it to have a future. It’s galling that volunteers have to run libraries, but if not us, then who? A lively library run by volunteers with a hope that one day funding will increase, is much better than watching the building become boarded up and vandalised.

  • What is your volunteer role and what does it involve?

I volunteer at events, and I also volunteer to run creative workshops for adults and young people. The role involves using my skills from the world of teaching and helping to make the library an exciting, creative place with lots going on.

  • What excites you more about volunteering for the library? Tell us about a highlight of your volunteering.

I helped out at Gavin Extence’s novel launch, greeting members of the audience and supplying them with wine – that was fun! It was great to chat to people about the library and their interest in books, and the event also showed that a volunteer-run library could host an event for a writer who is becoming well known nationally. It just goes to show that Walkley is a hot-bed of creativity which is sometimes underestimated compared to other parts of the city – and the library can help to encourage creative people to meet up!

  • What you have found to be the benefits/rewards of volunteering? What have you learned through it?

I also volunteer for other organisations, including Oxfam, where I’m part of their festivals team, and Rotherham Literacy Charity Grimm & Co. Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills and meet like-minded friends, and put something back into the world and your community.

  • What would you say to someone about volunteering at Walkley Library?

Give it a go – you’ll learn lots of skills and meet lots of friendly people from all walks of life who are committed to learning and keeping this institution alive.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I would love to organise an event for Off the Shelf festival at Walkley Library, to showcase our local literary talent! Once I’ve edited my second novel, I hope to get it published. I’d love to have a bestseller!

You can find out more about Anne:

I can help you to tell your story: Visit: http://wildrosemarywritingservices.wordpress.com/

To find out more about me and my writing, visit: http://therandomnotebook.wordpress.com/

To buy my book, Outside Inside, click HERE!