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Volunteer Appeal

Are you unemployed and need some work experience?

Are you retired and want to give something back to a community project?

Are you doing your Duke of Edinburgh Award and need a community service?

Do you work but would like something different to do on a weekend?

If this applies to you then we need your help!

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time at the school to date. We’ve come a long way in the past few months.

In order for us to continue this good work we need to recruit regular volunteers to come into the school and give your time.

Primarily, we need people to be able to man the office between the hours of 10am to 4pm each day of the week.

We also need people to offer practical and physical help with whatever job needs doing on the day, again 10am to 4pm.

We have split the shifts into 10am to 1pm and 1pm to 4pm. However if you would like to do the full day then that would be great also.

If this is something you would like to do, please contact me, Tammy on 07957942266 or alternatively email

Volunteer Profile: Lizzie Brown

Lizzie Brown

Name: Lizzie Brown

Age: 25

Lives: On the Jewel Streets, Saltburn

Interests/hobbies: Photography, music, people, walking, art, painting, gardening, Northern Lights (where I work) the list goes on.

Favourite film: The Labyrinth

Favourite TV show: Silent Witness

Favourite book: The Crow Road, Ian Banks

Favourite holiday spot:

I’m going to stick to my roots (as I’ve not holidayed much recently) and go for wee place in the West Coast of Scotland called Tayvallich. It’s an absolutely stunning place, with clear sparkling skies at night and delightful memories at every turn.

If you were given £50,000 tomorrow, how would you spend it?

I would definitely give my family money as they have been a lifetime of generous to me, take myself and my boyfriend away on a holiday and buy a large amount of stock from Northern Lights Interiors. I have my eye on a few chandeliers etc.


I’m pretty good at making cocktails, and playing the bass.

Where did you hear about the project?

I heard via Peter Neal when he was writing the the bid.

How long have you been volunteering at the school?

Since work first started, whenever I was free for a bit of happy volunteering graft!

What sort of work have you been doing at the school?

Painting, scraping, de-nailing, vacuming, sweeping, de- littering. Basically anything I was able to do to help. Tile scraping with Danielle being the highlight. It’s amazing to see them now!

Why do you volunteer?

Because I think volunteering is a wonderful thing to do. People have been so caring and welcoming ever since I moved to Saltburn last September and through volunteering it is one way for me to say thank you.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

I enjoy the feeling you get when you see the outcome of your hard graft and the benefits, even if a little, it will bring to the project and the community.


I would just like to express my thanks to The Saltburn School and Saltburn Arts for giving myself and my family the opportunity to be involved in The Saltburn School project. I am often hearing how this project is thought by some people to not benefit the community, but as a resident of Saltburn, I want to explain exactly how this is beneficial to my family.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a single parent of four and the Artist in Residence at the school. Being a Sculptor working in found objects, I came to the school wanting to work in materials which had been left behind by the former pupils. In exchange for my work I was given a studio space to work in. To me this has meant a great deal. I finally have a large enough space to produce work in. This has had a direct impact on my career. I have been able to accept a large international commission which will mean for the first time ever I am able to support my children financially. After years of worry, any parent will understand what a great relief this is.

My children have become avid volunteers at the School. It is always the first place they want to go on a weekend. They might sweep the yard, make cups of tea or just chat to other volunteers, but the value of learning to give without expecting a return is such a valuable lesson. My daughter has an interest in ceramics, something which is no longer taught in schools. The thought of there being pottery classes and a kiln to use at the school is her dream come true. I look forward to the official opening of the cafe sometime in the near future. A place where my young children will be welcome, having a safe area for them to play outdoors.

So the ways The Saltburn School has benefited this family are massive. My children are realising that hard work pays off, the importance of volunteering, the value of creativity, that it only takes one person to believe enough to acheive.

Thank you.


Books Books Glorious Books!

Temporary Book Shelf

So we asked and you provided. The books have started to flood in and we’ve begun to put some of them out in the Reading Room so that you can take advantage of them whilst we work on restoring and moving the book case into place. Come along and take a look!

Sometimes you just need a BIG room!

So local photographer and volunteer Bob Mitchell has been working for the past year on a huge project (and I mean literally huge) in Wales documenting the slate industry.

The completion of this work will see Bob pasting his photographs, shot using a traditional 5×4 camera, onto the sides of Welsh mountains, but before he could do this he needed a space large enough to be able to check his prints. The Studio was the ideal location to check the images, at least for the smallest of the images – and this is the smallest!

Will it Fit?


See this image in situe!

Not a penny spared…

The Plan of the Floor

Graham’s Plan of the Entrance Hall

When the Saltburn Girl’s High School was built, Graham Bowden volunteer and former museum curator at Kirkleatham tells us, no expense was spared. This can be seen in particular in the entrance hall to The Saltburn School which is surfaced in Terrazzo marble.

Graham has been working for days on documenting the floor entirely for us so we can plan how it can be restored back to it’s former glory in the future after decades of neglect.

Volunteer Profile: Alistair Nixon

We asked volunteer Alistair Nixon to write a few words about his experience helping at the school.

Volunteer Alistair Nixon

Volunteer Alistair Nixon

Here’s what he told us…

“I’ve now volunteered at the Saltburn School on a few occasions, helping out in the run up the Saltburn Arts Fair at the beginning of August, when the building officially opened.

I was excited when I first heard about the possible transfer of the school to the community, and relieved when I heard that it had been approved.

I’d been a pupil at the school in the early 1990s, when it was Saltburn Primary School, and I have fond memories of it. After all, a primary school is not like a secondary school, which (from my memories at least) is all more or less awkwardness and exams.

To be honest, I’d been itching to go back in there and look around since the day I left. Walking into the school for the first time again, however, it was hard to think it had ever been a functioning school in the first place. The years had not been kind: some electrics were exposed, dust covered most of the floors (which were missing more than a few floorboards), the paint on the walls was cracked and brown with damp and great rectangles on the walls, remaining from where board displays had been torn away, exposed plaster not seen for decades. Some rooms had been vandalised during a break in a few years ago. Debris and artifacts from years gone by cluttered most of the rooms.

My contribution has been abysmally marginal compared to those who have toiled through the days into the evenings to get the building up to scratch. (That work continues, even now.)

I’ve been involved in various tasks, which, running things off the top of my head, has included: painting walls, stripping walls, repainting walls, pulling nails out of floors, moving cupboards, sweeping floors, scraping and then soaping away industrial glue from floors, mopping floors, drying floors (sacrificing a few bath towels in the process) and finally making the odd cup of tea.

The hardest task of all, however, has been trying to remain focused enough not to go wandering off through the old corridors, exploring the empty classrooms, and reminiscing and reflecting on my own memories of the school.
The first time I went up to help out, while I was off ‘exploring’ I was introduced to another former pupil, who was doing precisely the same. She was the grandmother of one of the volunteers helping out. Generations separated us, but it turns out we had both shared the same classroom. We all know the school building, but it’s moments like that you realise just how many of us, spanning generations, that “we” consists of, and how significant a part of Saltburn that this building indeed is.

A school is there to give us the space to grow, expand our horizons, explore new ideas, make a bit more sense of the world around us and the things that we can do in it. The great promise of The Saltburn School is enabling that tradition to continue. It’s so neat you sort of wonder how the school building could ever have become something else.

A great deal more work still needs to be done. I’d recommend to anyone to take a visit and help out. That might be by painting walls and mopping floors. Or it could simply be by wandering off through the classrooms, reminiscing about the school’s past and – more importantly – reflecting upon the possibilities for its future. After all, the Saltburn School is a space in the hands of the community, and if that future is to be shaped by anyone, it’s us.”

Art Transport for Hire!


Yup this is really how we move pieces of art around whilst in a rush. Well if a seatbelt works for a human we’ve at least got a little chance with a framed picture… right?

Apologies for the out of focus picture, but we were in a car and I am only an amateur!

Book Appeal

Old Books

In the Reading Room adjacent to the new Saltburn Schol Cafe we are setting up a new community Library inspired by the world wide phenomenon of Book Crossing.

Our idea is simple – you donate a book, or a magazine even, – and in return you get one back. If you leave your name you’ll then be able to see what happens to your book and follow it’s journey. It certainly works out a lot cheaper than buying them new from Waterstones!

In order for us to make this possible we need to build a stock collection of books. This is where we need your help.

We are looking for:

  • childrens books;
  • romances;
  • textbooks;
  • biographies;
  • novels;
  • old magazines;
  • fiction;
  • non-fiction;
  • dictionaries;
  • you name it.

This is your chance to give those dusty old books a new lease of life!

To donate, please bring books to the school on weekends from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively, if you don’t have transport but would like to donate please contact 07957942266.

Community Gardening Update

Thanks to gardening renovation co-ordinator Elisa Duffew and all the volunteers who came to help out for the first Community Gardening Day on August 12.

Those that came helped Elisa to make a start on clearing weeds from what will be the Community Garden & Allotment

This Sunday, August 19, another Community Gardening Day is planned from 12pm to 4pm. This time volunteers will be tilling the soil in the community herb garden at the front of the school and also trimming back the overgrown hedge nearby. If you fancy giving us a hand contact Elisa Duffew on 07986131106 or 01287-622946.


As well as needing volunteers this Sunday, we also need tools such as spades and hedge trimming equipment (loppers!).

Do you have any gardening tools we could borrow/have? If so please drop off at the school any day from 10am to 4pm.