Why volunteer at CoolTan Arts?

Gain a unique experience with a lively independent Arts organisation!

Get out of the house, make friends and learn new skills in a safe, supportive environment.
All this, plus regular free training and up to £4.40 travel expenses per day!

Benefits for all volunteers:

  • Travel expenses up to £4.40 day reimbursed – with an oyster printout showing your journey
  • Opportunity to develop and use meaningful skills
  • Lots of training opportunities available, tailored to your volunteer role
  • Opportunity to get useful work experience and obtain a reference
  • Safe and supportive environment

We welcome volunteers with disabilities

Find out more or book a place on a volunteer induction with Rachel, our Volunteer Co-ordinator:rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk or ring 0207 701 2696


Here is what our volunteers say about us …

“If it wasn’t for volunteering at CoolTan I’d be in hospital, or I don’t know where I’d be. The support of the volunteer co-ordinator and staff at CoolTan made me realise I did have skills and was useful, after difficulties at my work. I was signed off sick, and started volunteering at CoolTan instead of being at home, as I found it made me feel much more positive. Another participant said ‘bad things happen to good people’, and it’s true, these conversations with staff at CoolTan were important. The support I got, and the experience at CoolTan boosted my confidence to apply for jobs again. I now have a full time role, and have been offered two others I applied for! Thanks CoolTan Arts”

richard_smallImage: CoolTan volunteer Richard Muzira wins a Local Heroes Award from Bank of America for his volunteer service in December 2012.

“Volunteering at CoolTan Arts has allowed me to learn many new skills that are of use to me in many ways, however, the real reward is being involved in my local community and doing something that helps other people. I have long term health problems and CoolTan gets me out the house, gives me something to do, you get interesting conversations here. I wouldn’t get that at home on my own”
(a regular volunteer who has moved from receptionist to podcasting, graphic design and analysing statistics)

“Volunteering helps to understand the running of departments in this organisation. Wherever you volunteer, if you make posters, you learn to make posters from start to finish. If you do petty cash, you learn how to go from receipts to presenting documents to the accountant. I think you learn here. If you just chat or rest, it may be good for a while, but learning by volunteering is the best way to gain skills, and CoolTan is good for learning skills. When you have new skills you get self esteem, and self esteem is better than nothing. If you wander round the streets you get nothing. If you increase your self esteem, it gives you a positive start to build up to what you want, in your life, to get a job, or to be healthy in your mind. That’s what CoolTan does for volunteers.”
(volunteer, service user and CoolTan Arts trustee)

“Thanks for everything. CoolTan has helped me through a difficult time in my life of unemployment and uncertainty through being able to volunteer and attend all sorts of things.”
(This person has now moved on to university studying education after volunteering with us as an Arts Tutor Assistant for 8 months)

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Can you help? … Dates for your Diary


Can you spare a few hours to help out with some of our upcoming events?

Wednesday 4th July 11am – 1pm
Help us take down our art exhibition from St John’s Church Waterloo.

Assist in taking down paintings from the walls, packing away and tidying up. Meet at the church at 11am. Please contact our Administrator Olivia Moyes: olivia@cooltanarts.org.uk or call 020 7701 2696 if you would like to assist.

Saturday 19th July  2014, 11.45am- 4:00pm
Are you a trained walk leader? Help CoolTan deliver our Largactyl Shuffle Green Spaces Walk.

Assist the Largactyl Shuffle group in registering people at the beginning of the walk and safely guiding members of the general public on the walk through the streets of Southwark. Walk route is approximately 2 miles.

If you can help at all, please get in Lu Firth, Largactyl Shuffle Walk Coordinator:
lucooltanarts@gmail.com or call, 020 7701 2696.

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Create our promotional video

CoolTan Arts are looking for a professional or an experienced amateur to work with our organisation to produce a promotional video to increase sign up for our annual sponsored walk in October 2014. 

CoolTan Arts is an arts in mental health charity, run by and for people with mental distress. We would like our film, to be unique, colourful, inspiring and engaging – like us!  The video will be for a wide audience, and needs to explain what our organisation does, why we are important and how people can support us.

We will be reaching out to people who may not yet be familiar with our organisation, to encourage them to participate and/or donate to this our biggest fundraiser of the year.

We want a video approximately 5 minutes in length and additional sound bites.

We have the range of camera equipment necessary and Final Cut Pro editing software required; we need a person (or more) to make it happen.

You will work closely with our Communications Officer on the content, who will provide ideas and advice and set up filming support.

The video will need to be prepared for Youtube/Vimeo and also DVD export.

We are looking for a person/people who are able to take the role(s) of Camera Person, Interviewer, Editor and Director. If you have the required skills and interest in working with us – please let us know.

This is a short term project, and we are looking to have a ready promotional video ideally by the end of June 2014, although we can be flexible on this.

We are looking forward to meeting you soon!

References and a Criminal Records Bureau check will be required.

We reimburse up to £4.40 travel expenses per day.


Flexible – you will need to be available Monday – Friday, 10-6pm, when we are open so you can have access to our equipment, footage and our people for interviewing.


Meetings take place at CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.

Nearest Tube: Elephant and Castle

Buses: 12, 35, 40, 45, 68, 148, 171, 176, 468

How to get involved

Please contact Rachel Ball, the Volunteer Co-ordinator to sign up.

E-mail is the best way to sign up, but please do phone if you do not have access to the internet, or e-mail is not accessible for you. rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk or ring 0207 701 2696.

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Project Volunteers needed for Largactyl Shuffle

This is a unique volunteering role that is relevant for people wanting to help their community, learn more about the area, make new friends and build confidence. If you are interested in gaining work skills, this role is relevant for a huge range of jobs employment skills from project management, travel and tourism, health and social care, administration, journalism, photography and graphic design.

We are currently keen to recruit volunteers who can help with graphic design, PR, marketing and community outreach


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Walk and talk your way around Southwark

CoolTan Arts Wellbeing Walks for Business

GarlandCreate, lead and deliver interesting and engaging walks, to help the working community of South Bankside to connect to each other and their local environment.

What you’ll get from us
•    A great opportunity to connect with an area of South London you may not know.
•    Find out about the history of the local area from archives, libraries and galleries.
•    Develop and demonstrate your ability to create fun, interactive activities and walks
•    Knowledge of how to promote and run events and engage a community.
•    Experience implementing a social change project from the bottom up
What we need from you
•    Work as part of a team and be reliable, creating a welcoming and friendly environment to ensure a positive experience for everyone
•    Interest in planning an event from start to finish
•    To take an active role in contributing to the walks, whether that is researching, designing and delivering talks or activities, promoting the walks through designing flyers, distribution of flyers, contacting organisations or documenting our activities through photography.
•    To demonstrate a cheerful and positive manner, whilst remaining calm and friendly
•    To put people at ease by listening, making conversation and answering questions wherever possible
•    Empathise with anyone struggling with depression, anxiety or isolation, and inspire and motivate such people to take short walks
•    To support the collection of feedback, through actively engaging in the process yourself, and ensuring all our evaluation forms are completed by each
References and a Criminal Records Bureau check will be required.
We provide regular free training opportunities and reimburse up to £4.40 travel expenses per day.
Meetings on Wednesdaya, 2-4pm.


Contact kaya@cooltanarts.org.uk for the location of our meetings and the walks or call on 020 7701 2696

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Grow our Allotment

garden-tools-buying-guideShare your interest in gardening and enthusiasm for developing an allotment by joining our enthusiastic newly formed group of gardeners and support them to achieve their aims.  

What you’ll get from us
•    Opportunity to develop and demonstrate your organisational and communication skills.
•    Share and develop your own gardening knowledge and skills.
•    Social contact and interaction with others.
•    Gain experience of facilitating and developing activities.
•    Opportunity to work within a professional environment whilst making a positive difference to the lives of those living with mental distress.

What we need from you
•    A good team player with excellent communication skills.
•    Excellent organisational skills with the ability to work without close supervision, reliable and responsible with enthusiasm and effective interpersonal skills.
•    Ability to understands everyone’s motivations, and enable the group to come to agreed decision
•    An interest in working with people who have a variety of abilities
•    Be sensitive and have an understanding of the needs of people who experience mental distress.
References and a Criminal Records Bureau check will be required.
We provide regular free training opportunities and reimburse up to £4.40 travel expenses per day.
Tuesdays, initially weekly, at 12noon
Rosendale Allotments
To get involved please contact Rachel Ball, Volunteer Coordinator – rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk or call on 020 7701 2696.

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Volunteer Training Dates

VolunteerTrainingIf you’re a current CoolTan volunteer you could benefit from any of the below training sessions!

Walk Leader Training – Accredited
This nationally run training accredited by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer focuses on the practicalities of leading a health walk, but also touches on the benefits of walking, route planning and leading walkers with special requirements.
Wednesday 18th June, 10.30am-4.30pm
CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.
To get involved 
To book your place, please contact Rachel Ball, rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk, 020 7701 2696


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Sport_Activities_Football_iconDo you enjoy going to watch football?
Would you like to help others to do the same?
Then this exciting new group is for you.

CoolTan Arts is proud to be a nominated charity for the Dulwich Hamlet football club, and they have offered us a number of season tickets for their home matches.
We are looking for a group of volunteers that can support others to attend these matches and enable us to maximise this generous opportunity.
As a volunteer you will support the organisation of the trips, from making posters, getting people signed up, sending reminders, planning the best route to travel and then actually attend on match days.
If this sounds of interest, please contact Rachel Ball, Volunteer Coordinator – rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk, 020 7701 2696.

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Online Promotion

socialmediaJoin Emma for a session of online listing training, letting people know about our workshops, and upcoming events.

Online promotion is our main way to let the world know about what we do and how they can join us – your support is invaluable!
•    Learn how you can promote events
•    Get to know the UK main listing websites and how they work
•    Learn how to write concisely for the web
Suggested times to get involved:
•    Mondays    2-6pm
•    Tuesdays     2-6pm
•    Thursday     4-6pm
Not a suitable time for you? No worries – get in touch and arrange a more suitable time for you.Rachel Ball, Volunteer Coordinator rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk

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Another popular way to spread the word about CoolTan is by flyering local and relevant organisations. As you know, postage costs are high, so we really need your support in getting these flyers out.  We currently have two brand new flyers to get out!
From Monday 27 January, we are looking for support to do this.
Just drop in and speak to our admin team to collect some flyers.
please get in touch with Rachel Ball, Volunteer Coordinator  rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk

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Volunteer Opportunity – Office Administration

adminYour support will ensure our office remains clean and tidy, our doors and phones are answered politely and promptly and our records (paper and electronic) are maintained and up to date.
We need support in the office on:
•    Mondays:  From 11:30am until 6pm
•    Wednesdays: From 10.30am to 6pm
•    Fridays: From 10.30am – 5pm
If you can help us for 2 to 3 hours on any of these days (weekly or fortnightly), please get in touch with Rachel Ball, Volunteer Coordinator (rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk)

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Practical Activity Volunteers Needed!

40This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to make friends, gain new skills, get into a routine and find out if volunteering is for them.
Help a small charity and get more involved in your local community. You will be working with some of the most creative and interesting people in Southwark – CoolTan Arts Participants – at this dynamic and forward thinking Arts charity. We are looking to recruit 2 people for each opportunity so you will meet other new practical activity volunteers.

Tasks – a variety of practical tasks which could include:

  • Helping prepare food such as salad or sandwiches for events and for volunteers
  • Helping set up stalls for CoolTan events and at outreach events
  • When you feel confident – welcoming new people and helping on stalls
  • Photocopying and simple filing
  • Cleaning, tidying and washing up
  • Taking flyers and posters to shops, libraries and other community centres
  • Taking recycling to the recycling centre
  • Putting up posters at CoolTan Arts


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Volunteer opportunities with CoolTan Arts Mobile Gardening Club

gardeningCoolTan Arts volunteer gardeners to bring free gardening training and services to Walworth residents to help improve the local environment.

In a pilot scheme due to launch this summer, CoolTan Arts volunteers and participants will provide free community support and training for local residents in Walworth.
Participants can get involved in designing, planting and maintaining new and existing green spaces in the area, turning them into places for everyone to enjoy and helping to make a real difference to the local community. This innovative project will support the local community in planting, growing and maintaining their own garden spaces. The project will also encourage participants to grow and eat their own produce, while gaining the skills and confidence to transform their own green space – whether it’s a garden, a balcony or pots on the kitchen windowsill.

For the more ambitious there will be sessions focused on the finer points of digging, harvesting, and even how to join the National Gardens Scheme Open Gardens programme.

Research has shown that gardening can help reduce stress and anxiety and also support those with experience of mental distress – as it distracts attention away from day-to-day health problems, giving a respite from symptoms.

If you are interested in taking part in the project please contact Rachel for more details : rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk

CoolTan’s gardening service has been made possible by a grant from Southwark Council’s Cleaner Greener Safer programme, which assists local residents with funding for projects to improve their local environment.



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Meeting Support Volunteers Needed!

  • Are you good at spotting other people’s skills?
  • Do you have experience of organising meetings?
  • Are you passionate about sharing your skills and helping others to gain new skills?
  • Are you interested in peer support, and participant led initiatives?

We are looking for new and existing CoolTan Arts volunteers to help support two new CoolTan participant representation and feedback groups.
We would like to have volunteers supporting the set up of these groups, who have skills and experience of supporting new groups and organising meetings – we would like to use your skills to help others learn or share their skills in running meetings. We are at the stage of collecting interest in these groups, and presenting formats the meetings could take.

One group will be a volunteer forum for volunteers to share experiences, organise social events and make suggestions to improve volunteer experience. The other group will be a CoolTan wide group for feedback, to suggest improvements, and to represent the views of participants at CoolTan. We are moving to a new building by April, and are looking to start these groups in the spring in our new offices. Rather than staff facilitating and supporting meetings – can you use your skills (supported by staff) to help these groups get started and run successfully?

Please get in touch with Rachel Ball, Volunteer Co-ordinator, to find out more: rachel@cooltanarts.org.uk or ring 0207 701 2696

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Graphic Designers needed

Role Description:
A great opportunity for anyone looking to use their graphic design skills to help a charity, or to gain practical experience to build their portfolio.

All our graphic design is created by volunteers, and you will go through a discussion process as you create your design that is similar to working for a professional client, but in the safe and supportive environment of volunteering for CoolTan Arts. You will also have a chance to work with other graphics volunteers if you want to, working on designs as part of a team, or volunteer from home.


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Help us to write and deliver volunteer training

Role Description:
A great opportunity for anyone interested in expanding their teaching skills, getting involved with volunteer management or sharing their experience. You will be working with adults, building on your exisiting teaching skills.

Come and help us to write and deliver exciting and creative training sessions for volunteers. This will help others to get more out of their volunteering experience and learn new skills. You or volunteers you work with may have mental distress, learning difficulties, other disabilities or none of the above…but help build on CoolTan’s ethos of inclusive volunteering by helping to train others.  CoolTan Arts is a small arts and mental health charity. Gain new skills or build on existing ones, have fun, and volunteer in a safe and supportive environment.


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