New champion helps theatre volunteers campaign

Sheringham Little Theatre's volunteer champion Karen Sims.

Sheringham Little Theatre's volunteer champion Karen Sims. - Credit: Richard Batson

A seaside theatre has created a new “champion” to lead its campaign to find more volunteers.

Retired teacher and retail manager Karen Sims has been helping at Sheringham Little Theatre for four years – tackling a range of tasks from welcoming people 'front of house' to serving in the Hub café bar.

She has now been named the theatre’s volunteer champion as it launches a drive to find more people just like her who can give a few hours of their week to carry out vital roles.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “We simply could not operate our theatre without the manpower of our army of helpers – but we need more of them.

“There are roles for people of all backgrounds and skills from practical hands-on tasks such as set building and costumes, to behind the scenes administration support including fundraising and publicity.

“These are challenging times when we are operating with a small staff, so the volunteers are becoming increasingly important in how we operate. But it also gives them a new ‘family’ of friends, and a genuine insight into how a community theatre is run.”

Volunteer roles include: ushering and door stewarding, odd jobbers, set painters, costume assistants, publicity people, and helpers in the Hub café and box office.

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Ms Sims says she finds volunteering very rewarding, adding: “It is putting something back into the community, and I love working as part of team. During Covid I enjoyed taking on more roles to help the theatre out.”

Ms Sims had a 20-year career as a teacher in the Norwich area, having earlier spent 10 years in management at Marks and Spencer.

Before she retired to Sheringham she was a regular visitor to the theatre, so was keen to get involved once she was on its doorstep.

She said: “People are my passion and I love getting to know the customers who come into the theatre. There is a real sense of community."

People interested in volunteering at the Little Theatre can drop in for a chat, email debbie@sheringhamlittletheatre.com or call 01263 822347.