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The importance of Pride in Engagement

We were recently very proud to sponsor an art exhibition at a local school. We provided canvases and new painting materials for all of the pupils aged 4-11. It was a feel good exercise for us and a great way of giving just a little back locally.

We supported the event by hanging the artwork in a mobile gallery and inviting people to come along, view them and if they wished, bid on the work.

I had thought that this was just for fun, an interesting diversion from the usual day to day, I hadn't anticipated just how much I might learn from the experience. I understand that there was plenty of excitement from the children at the prospect of being given a morning to let their creativity run free, a lesson in itself in terms of just how exciting a move away from the norm can be.

As a small group of adults with a slight sense of nervousness over the potential success or failure of the event, I learned that you really can turn things around very quickly when you put your mind to it, we had a lot to do, in cold and wet circumstances ( a very exposed travelling gallery!), but a deadline that really drove our focus.

My biggest lesson though? Seeing just how engaging a sense of pride can be. Even those children who had shown a lesser sense of excitement at the prospect of the event, really were proud to see

their work hung in a gallery, next to many other works by their peers and friends. Each canvas on its own was lovely, but put them all together and wow, what a striking impression. I was so lifted in witnessing this sense of pride as each group walked in with their parent, keen to find their work and show what they had achieved. I learned that the opportunity to feel proud about what we do really raises the engagement, and that engagement and positivity spreads.

What can I take from my lessons? Pull together, face the challenges together, share your pride and celebrate your achievements together, it's a bonding, empowering and fulfilling experience.


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