Hill Street Takeover Film by Chris Bradburn

This is a stop motion film of the Hillstreet Takeover, filmed on a GoPro camera in November at the #brilliantlyboro #creativefactory space in the Hillstreet Centre, Middlesbrough. The editing was done by me (Chris Bradburn) using Adobe Premiere Pro. The music is from a site called the Free Music Archive and is royalty free.

This is my last project with Tees Valley Arts as I am leaving to further my career as a Filmmaker and am delighted to tell everyone that I have been given the chance to do a work placement at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle Upon Tyne courtesy of Beacon Films, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

I am thankful to the staff of Tees Valley Arts for giving me this opportunity to develop my skills further in video editing and am also thankful to the staff of Step Forward Tees Valley for setting me up with this volunteering opportunity as well as all the support and advice they gave me.

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Teesside on Film

I’ve been volunteering with Tees Valley Arts on their Real Tees Valley project, where I’ve been engaging with members of the public and encouraging them to take time out of their day to watch the films made by young people.

The films deal with major issues such as transitioning, mental health issues, fleeing a war zone and just about being young in Teesside. What makes the films so unique is that you hear their voices, rather than how other people might misconceive them, their feelings laid bare.

Sadie” is, for me, the moving film, having gone through darkness myself. For her to be so open about it takes so much courage and with so many people taking their own lives we need to be more open about the challenges people face.

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Reflections on Luke by Luke Devey

“Luke” tells the story of a young local boy and his transition from female to male. Through the film he talks about interactions with people and their responses after finding out he has transitioned.

Growing up in a small town means that things like this are not heard of as much, so it is great to learn more about it in the local area and see the positive outcome of this young boy’s situation. When mentioning the way in which people ask about the transition he states they are not trying to cause offence, but are just curious which helps to shine the local area in a positive and forward-thinking light.

Footage is shown of the scars received due to the surgery involved in the transition which shows the real physical dedication this boy has had in becoming what makes him happy. He also mentions the hormone treatment he has undertaken and the downsides involved with it, in particular getting spots.

Through the film, he is seen to be a happy, energetic person from footage of him dancing with friends and family, to the interview segments during which he cannot stop smiling.

It is brilliant to see stories like this come from Teesside showing the residents happy and content in the life they have chosen to lead.

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Our Executive Director started his career in the arts as a volunteer and our Operations Manager used a volunteering role to give him the necessary experience to be able to move from the commercial to the charitable sector, so we truly appreciate and champion the impact that our volunteers make each and every day.

Volunteering with us

We have a holistic approach to volunteering programme, the work you do whilst you are on your placement must be beneficial to you, as well as adding to our impact as a charity.

Most placements start with an interview where we will ask you a few short questions to find out more about you and try and narrow down what you are seeking to get out of your time with us and how that might align with our current priorities.

Take your time to read through some of the stories of past volunteers below, as well of some of the programmes of activity we are currently working on with our existing volunteers.

Volunteering Stories

Megan’s Story

Megan Murdoch holding her winning Tees Valley Arts chilli plant at the Tees Valley Arts offices on her final day as a volunteer.

Megan came to us in her first year of her A-Levels at Prior Pursglove having found out about our volunteering programme through this website.

She was interested in finding out more about publishing and has helped us to re-organise our library, supported the Tees Valley Arts Benefit Auction including managing the process of publishing the catalogue for us.

She is now taking some time off from volunteering so that she can focus on her final year of A-Levels. We hope to see her back soon!

Read More about Megan’s Story here.

Chris’ Story

Chris has come to us from a film-making background and is looking to keep his skills fresh and up-to-date whilst he searches for the right role in the creative sector.

He has been spending some time working through the rushes that filmmakers generate when we have commissioned them to make a film for us.

The aim of his work has been to find stories such as the this little clip below, where the chair of our board of trustees, succinctly summarises the Green TV project that he worked on with us a number of years ago, whilst being interviewed for another film we were producing.

This footage had ended up on the cutting room floor in that instance, but Chris has been able to extract it and create a clip that now sits on the Green TV project page and where Mike is able to give a great overview of the project and its impact.

Without Chris’s hard work, spending hours watching through footage, we might never have found this clip and been able to tell this small part of the Green TV story.

Read More Stories from Volunteers in our Cultural Volunteering Programme

Current Volunteering Opportunities

Cultural Alumni

Artists who have worked with Tees Valley Arts

Our Cultural Alumni programme of activity is currently the main focus of our volunteering programme and through it, we’re seeking to re-discover and understand our interactions with people, communities, artists, organisations since our foundation in order to be able to better understand and celebrate our impact.

The image above is a graphic visualisation was created by Ashleigh Ellis, whilst on her work experience with Tees Valley Arts, and it shows the intersections between artists who have been commissioned by Cleveland Arts, Tees Valley Arts and both in a period between 1998 and 2018. This is one of the many innovative ways we are looking to explore our alumni and document the impact we have had.

By making this the focus of our volunteering programme, it enables you – the volunteer – to really be able to craft and shape your experiences with us, allowing you to focus on the art form you are interested in and/or the aspect of the arts you would like to gain more knowledge of, whilst uncovering and telling these stories for us.


Over the last three decades, we have built an incredible collection of over 40,000 photographs documenting our work across Teesside.

We’re looking for people who are interested in helping us to sort, select, show and investigate this valuable resource so we can start to tell some of the stories hidden within.

We use Adobe Lightroom to manage our Photographic Library and experience in Photoshop is also very helpful (though not necessary!).

Public Art

From our foundation in 1983 and throughout the 1990s Cleveland Arts was one of the largest commissioners of Public Art in the North East and perhaps the entire United Kingdom.

We’re looking for volunteers who are interested in helping us to document these pieces of public art, discover the stories behind them and find out whats happened to them since they were installed.

We first began this work back in 2015 as part of the mima localism project.

Get in Touch

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