Our volunteers in their own words…
We couldn’t bring you all our fabulous films and shows without our wonderful volunteer ushers. Now we are getting ready for the wonderful mayhem that is panto season, a few of them were kind enough to spare us a few minutes to talk about their experiences. Who knows? Maybe you will feel intrigued to find out more about joining our ushering family… a great way to get involved with your local theatre and make new friends.
Come join the usher family
Sylvia and Roy have lived in Chesham for 54 years and have many fond memories of both the old and the new Elgiva. They joined our ushering team after they got chatting to ushering neighbours who nominated their garden for a Chesham in Bloom award. They both love the variety of the programme of events on at The Elgiva and particularly enjoy the social side, meeting all the people who visit the theatre while being of value to the community they hold so dear.
Sylvia remarked: “Everyone comes in, sooner or later!” while Roy added: “It’s good to have a catch-up and you’re being of service at the same time.”
Sylvia said: “Come and join the usher family!”
Helen dates her time at The Elgiva by the panto – and she’s coming up for her third! Helen, who describes herself as a theatre-lover said she very much enjoys supporting her local theatre and hearing all the tales from behind the scenes. Helen reckons The Elgiva has a real “feel-good factor” as it’s a great way to make new friends with the bonus of finding out how it all works and how all the productions come together. Helen added that she loves hearing the music, watching the films, seeing the productions and that she especially enjoys seeing how much children enjoy visiting the theatre.
The ice cream king
Nigel is one of our newer ushers, having volunteered for coming up to eight months. He volunteers at The Elgiva because “having been in retail all his life, this was a chance to do something really different.”
He’s into theatre and films, so felt it would be nice to volunteer somewhere that blends with his interests and would benefit from his flexibility. Nigel confided that he already has a reputation as the “Ice Cream King” as his retail skills have been put to excellent use in interval ice cream sales. He said it’s great being able to use skills gathered from his previous employment in a new setting and keep them sharp. Nigel loves the “friendly atmosphere” at The Elgiva and meeting all the people.
He has been surprised at some of items on the programme that he thought might not be his cup of tea but that he absolutely loved, including André Rieu and some of the foreign language films. Nigel added that ushering is a “great opportunity” to see different sorts of things and especially as The Elgiva shows “stuff you might not normally get to see.”
A second wind
Firm friends Chris and Liz met through volunteering at The Elgiva. Liz also dates her time at The Elgiva by panto and is about to start on number four. Chris came straight from work, volunteering to help the very first day of her retirement and also recruiting other ushers along the way. Chris cites the company and friendship as the reason she loves helping at The Elgiva. Liz was a frequent visitor to The Elgiva and once she retired, found she was “going mad at home!” Liz said that since she joined the ushering team, she has seen loads of different show and also that ushering has given her a second wind, a new lease of life.
Chris agreed, adding: “You have to do something and you are never bored at The Elgiva!” She went to say that both she and Liz loved the communication and the thinking on their feet part of the ushering role. They both felt that every show was different, different people and lots of talking and doing and really enjoy the real buzz they get from being at The Elgiva.