Understanding and using valuable partnerships to go further

Jill Donnelly has an exceptional combination of energy, enthusiasm, practical common sense, vision and an ability to work with people from all walks of life. During her professional life as a consultant paediatrician, she explored art and music as a means of communication with vulnerable children, some with delayed language development. Read more….[clicks into a pop up with the rest of the copy]

Being a NADFAS Young Arts Volunteer for five years, has offered Jill the opportunity to further this interest and at the same time, enrich the lives of many young people. Jill has used her understanding of the value of partnerships and together with Hinchingbrooke Hospital and 15 local primary schools she has established displays of framed children's artwork along the white corridor walls in the hospital. She organised matched funding and arranged social events to thank the young artists and to recognise the work done in schools. Grants have been given for art materials. The ever-changing displays have received positive comments from staff, patients and visitors, often starting conversations between people suffering anxiety and distress. Some schools have started to use their thank you letters as part of their Ofsted submission evidence for working with the local community.

Jill has encouraged more secondary schools to submit work for the RBA/NADFAS competition for young artists by joining forces with CAYAC (Cambridgeshire Area Young Artists Competition). This partnership has increased the number of schools participating from 4 to 28, supplying 94 items which were displayed alongside adult artwork.

2016 sees Jill and the Huntingdon DFAS Committee involved in a major project in partnership with the Historic Gardens Trust to provide a memorial to Capability Brown in Fenstanton where he is buried. Children from two local primary schools will learn about the design and making of stained glass, by visiting Ely Cathedral glass centre. They will design a panel which will be placed in the Church Centre by September of this year as part of the Capability Brown 300 Years festival.  Jill has great vision and many ideas for the future: two secondary schools are now involved with Hinchingbrooke Hospital to create artworks suitable for display in a new cancer unit, rooms used by the elderly and patients with Alzheimers and Dementia. 

Volunteering stories