The best thing about my job as a creative apprentice

 21 February 2015

Our friends at THIS IS IT! ran a competition asking people to explain the best thing about their job for a chance to win tickets to the Creative & Cultural Skills Annual Conference. Bethany Houldsworth, Creative Apprentice at Lancashire County Council, was one of the winners.

"One day I'm in Accrington for a digital war memorial launch, the next I'm in Brierfield cleaning out an old mill."

"There's a lot to learn being a Creative Apprentice in the Arts Development team for Lancashire County Council. It’s a bit like riding a bike... if the bike was on fire! You have to learn, and learn quickly, from how funding works to managing and promoting arts projects.

"I travel all around Lancashire working on different projects. I see and discover people creating beautiful things in sometimes unlikely places. One day I'm in Accrington for a digital war memorial launch, the next I'm in Brierfield cleaning out an old mill for an artist's organisation. No two days are the same."

Creativity comes in many forms

"I always thought that the label 'creative' was only reserved for artists. I am not an artist. The closest I got to being one was when I painted a picture of a hedgehog and it was for a short time displayed in my local art gallery. I was seven.  After the five months of being a creative apprentice, I am starting to see creativity everywhere, in every different type of person. 

Whatever I contribute to a project, no matter how big or small, I helped it happen

"One of my main jobs working for the Arts Development team is to encourage people to develop an interest in the arts and show them how it can benefit and enhance their lives. We encourage people to use the arts as a medium to express themselves and how they interpret the world around them.

"I have realised that creativity comes in many forms and in its simplest form it's about taking an idea and making it a reality. I am lucky enough that I get to do that every day. To help people get ideas out of their head and turn them into reality. It's not easy, there's always unexpected disasters or last minute changes.

"I'm lucky to have a supportive team around me. When we work together we can use our very different skills to overcome these barriers. Having people around who have great ideas helps. Sometimes those ideas come from my managers, other times the ideas belong to a group of young people in a youth forum, and very occasionally they are my own."

Bringing people together through the arts

"These are the reasons why I go to work every morning looking forward to the day ahead. All ages of the community and all different types of people are brought together through the arts. Whether it is the elderly coming for a memory festival to talk about dementia or a group of children wanting to make magic wands for Harry Potter day. Whatever I contribute to a project, no matter how big or small, I helped it happen. Knowing that gives me a deep sense of satisfaction.

I have realised that creativity comes in many forms.

"I have done many different things. From working in bars, hospitals and a hairdresser's, but this is the first job I've had where I have thought to myself "I am exactly meant to be doing this!" In five months I have learnt a lot about the arts but also about myself. Most surprisingly that I may be more creative than I think." 

THIS IS IT! is a network for people undertaking apprenticeships or paid internships through the Creative Employment Programme. Earlier this year they set a competition to those involved to win free tickets to the Creative & Cultural Skills 2015 Annual Conference on March 5. 

See the other 5 winning entries on the THIS IS IT! website:

Do join up to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn networks if you want to hear about more opportunities!