Volunteering Story of the Month – Murat Shevket

My journey at Chickenshed began in 2005, firstly as a student and then as a staff member. After leaving Chickenshed to pursue a career in primary education, I decided to become a Volunteer for the company in 2017. 

I have been a part of many performances for Chickenshed all over London and some other cities in the UK and in-house. I have been able to work with a range of children and adults with varying needs and backgrounds. 

A moment I will always remember was the 35th Birthday Gala at The Royal Albert Hall. This was a truly breath-taking moment. I remember performing the finale with the cast - everyone one was singing one of our anthems, We Need Each Other. Looking around at that moment, seeing everyone working together and singing together really and truly showed me what Chickenshed is all about. 

Another memorable moment was volunteering at the 2012 Olympic Games as a cleaner in the Athletes’ Village. This was a fantastic opportunity! By volunteering my time to help raise a significant sum for Chickenshed, I got to spend a week in the Athletes’ Village where I met many sports stars and had one to one conversations with them in their apartments. I got to meet Usain Bolt and Tom Daley (who posed for a photo with me!) which was a true honour. 

Chickenshed has also enabled me to pursue a career in education and the skills that I have learnt have enhanced my work. Chickenshed helped me realise the importance of inclusion within education and how all children and young people, from all different backgrounds, need the arts as an escape from real life situations that sometime can be challenging. 

I have been lucky enough to work in many different educational roles since leaving Chickenshed. My biggest achievement was to be an Inclusion Officer at a primary school in Hertfordshire for four years.  When I took on this role I was able to tap into my experience of working with children and families at Chickenshed which allowed me to create positive relationships within school and the community. I currently work in inner London as a behaviour specialist and mentor. 

Chickenshed gave me a voice when I most needed it. The staff and the members allowed me to be myself and to be proud of who I am. Without Chickenshed I do not think that I would have the platform to grow in my own career or personal life. 

Fifteen years on, Chickenshed is still a big part of my life. I still perform and support when I can. It’s my second home and family.