Jane and Dave Robinson

Jane and Dave Robinson live in Kendal and have been attending shows at Brewery Arts for the last 50 years.

The couple began volunteering in the late eighties and continue to do so across live events and the cinema. 

Jane and Dave spoke to us about why they began volunteering, what they love about it, and why they believe Brewery Arts is essential to the local area and beyond.

Can you talk through how you first began volunteering at Brewery Arts?

Dave: We always enjoyed coming to Brewery Arts as customers. We responded to a call out and began volunteering at Theatre events. We especially enjoy live music though and one day we asked how to get involved with that side of things and it developed from there. We have been here ever since and volunteer across lots of events. 

Jane: The live music is great. It is a bigger audience now from all over, you get a more international crowd but still have those returning customers as well. We like volunteering with the team who are fantastic. The team has changed over time, it has always been good, but it is even better now. They are so dynamic and lovely, they look after us, value us and take care of us. They are also always pleased to see us which is a bonus! 

What do you enjoy about volunteering at Brewery Arts?

Dave: We get a lot from volunteering and I would say 99.9% of our experience with customers is really good. We have known some of the team for years as well. 

Jane: Everyone in the team is a character and everyone has different things to offer. They look after us so well and we feel valued, they give you a real sense of responsibility. Baring in mind we are quite old it is nice that they know we can do everything that is required. It is like a family and we feel part of something great.

How important do you feel Brewery Arts is to the area?

Dave: The Arts are essential in a civilised society. If you don’t have that you have nothing.  

Jane: You couldn’t have Kendal without Brewery Arts, absolutely not. 

The little girl who lives near us in Kendal, she comes to the dance classes with Emily Davies (the Engagement Officer for Dance) on Thursdays. You know what day it is, because she is always so excited at that time every week. 

Brewery Arts is doing well by the kids, it is great to see them come and get involved and grow, but it also has the Mature Movers and the older groups which shows that Brewery Arts is for everyone.

Artists have the opportunity to display their work here as well, and things like the Craft Market every year feel well established. 

Dave: It is not only just for Kendal though, it is for the wider area and it brings people into Kendal. 

Jane: We chatted with people from Barrow at a gig and they had come to see a band, gone out for food and stayed in a bed and breakfast, that shows how great Brewery Arts is for Kendal. It is not just Brewery Arts who benefit, every one in the town is benefitting from it. 

Dave: I think it is an essential service and a cultural hub but its importance reaches wider than just Kendal. 

What do you enjoy about Brewery Arts?

Jane: The live screenings are fantastic and it has brought theatre to people who wouldn’t usually go. For one thing it is affordable – you don’t have to travel down to London and it is also very comfortable and for me it is great with my short attention span, it keeps me focused!

We love the live music as well. We have met some brilliant people during our time at Brewery Arts. We were volunteering for The Northern Soul Train recently and they were saying how much they love the venue. They love how intimate it is and we get that a lot from the artists we speak with. People come from all over and we have a great laugh with them. We have had a lot of fun here over the years and a lot of sweaty nights dancing!

The bar and the food is also excellent, you can’t knock it. 

Dave: The Summer Sundays are brilliant as well. We have seen some quality stuff here, so much so, that it is hard to remember some of the best.

Jane: It is the people that work here though – they are the ones who make it and give you the atmosphere. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the team. 

Brewery Arts is fantastic and long may it continue.

Brewery Arts is an arts and education charity which has been in operation for over 50 years. You can help us to continue providing, inspiring, and enriching the local community, through artistic, creative learning and engagement activities. Donate here today to help us continue our work for the next 50 years!

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