8 Apr 2016

Q+A: Harriet, Volunteer Engagement Manager

We catch up with Harriet to talk gardening, the WI and heavy metal.

What’s your name?

Harriet Johnson

What’s your role at Hull UK City of Culture 2017?

I’m the Volunteer Engagement Manager. This means I’m responsible for getting people involved in the volunteer programme.

I’ve been working with communities across the city to talk about how everyone can get involved, and I’m really excited at the thought of people teaming up to support each other and have fun volunteering.

Why should people become a Hull 2017 volunteer?

There are so many reasons why someone should become a Hull 2017 volunteer! Volunteering is a great experience for a variety of reasons; it’s an opportunity to learn new skills, meet people and to challenge yourself.

I think volunteering for Hull 2017 is an amazing chance to celebrate our city and get involved with what will be a magical year of events. There are going to be so many different opportunities from front of house, meet and greet to backstage / technical that there will really be something for everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing all the wonderful stories that will unfold from the volunteers’ experiences.

How can people find out more about getting involved with Hull’s year as UK City of Culture?

We have community roadshows across the city and beyond in April and May. It’s a chance to meet our super pioneer volunteers who can talk to you about their experience so far and even help you make a start on your volunteer application form.

If you’d like to know a bit more and start your application, you can do that through our website.

What do you love most about Hull?

Over the years I have worked in Hull I’ve had the pleasure with working in lots of different settings. There are so many community groups doing fantastic work in the city and they are all powered by a love of the city they work and volunteer in. This energy is infectious. The people of Hull are what make this such a special city. Where else do you get a wave and a thank you if you stop your car at a zebra crossing?!

Hull is a magical city, I am incredibly passionate about people learning about its unique and wonderful places and there are so many hidden gems. Every year for Freedom Festival I invite friends from around the UK to visit and take part in the weekend – they are always blown away the amazing artists, performances and welcoming vibe.

I love the green spaces (and not just the ones that immediately spring to mind). You can walk to Beverley along the riverbank, pick wild plums at Loglands and watch wildlife at Noddle Hill.

What do you get up to when you’re not looking after our volunteer programme?

I am in Apple Crumble and Stitch Hull WI. We are based at Artlink on the third Thursday of every month. We have a fun and varied programme varying from coffee tasting to letter writing as well as more traditional crafts.

I love the outdoors and gardening. My favourite outdoor space locally is Loglands nature area and Spurn Point further afield, they have just renovated the lighthouse and I can’t wait to visit it.

If I have time I like to go to gigs too – my husband’s in a band although they’re very loud so I have a trusty pair of earplugs!


Harriet is out and about during April and May at our community roadshows – why not drop in and say hello? She’ll even be taking over our
Instagram account and sharing updates from the roadshow this Saturday 10 April, at Costello Playing Fields.

Our roadshows are visiting 22 different locations across Hull and Beverley in April and May, spreading the word about Hull 2017 and talking about how you can get involved. Find out where we’re heading next.

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