In the following, I share my experiences on being a peer tutor in Culture House, from my own point of view: how it has been for me and what I find is the best thing about it.
I became a peer tutor in the autumn of 2015. During the years, I have had time to instruct various
groups: collage art, photography, painting and excursions to art exhibitions, among others. My areas
of interest tend therefore towards the visual arts but I have also instructed building puzzles and read
aloud to the participants of the group. All these groups have been very different, some of them more demanding than others. Some have taken more time to prepare, some have moved ahead of their own accord.
Being able to decide the exact contents of the groups for myself has been one of my favorite things
about being a peer tutor. I get to harness my interests to the benefit of others. I find voluntary work
genuinely motivating. It’s liberating to get to do things I myself have chosen and planned. It enables
me to take care of my own well-being. When I’m feeling better, I’m able to do more and instruct
groups that take more preparing. Then again, when I’m not feeling very well and have less
resources, I can choose an easier group or take a break from instructing entirely. As a peer tutor, I
feel I don’t have to continuously overcome my limitations because I’m good enough as I am.
The support I get from the staff both in practical and emotional matters, as well as from my peers, is
very important. I have never had to struggle alone with my thoughts, experiences or concerns
related to being a peer tutor. You get help along the way with all the steps, planning, equipment and
instructing, when you need it.
The best thing about the Culture House is the people. It’s easier to get to know others through
common activities. We share our values and experiences. Humaneness, leniency and clemency are
among the essential ones. At the culture house, it’s possible to focus on succeeding and the bright
sides of life. On the other hand, you can also share more difficult aspects.
Taking part in voluntary work makes me feel I’m a part of society and that I’m doing something that
has a real impact on people. I’m able to see the effect my work has on people and their well-being
every time I instruct. The thanks and the supportive feedback I get from participants motivate me
and keep me going.
As a peer tutor, I have the chance to create substance instead of matter. My values don’t fit well
with the more traditional rehabilitation work shops that focus on manual labor and aim to produce
objects. I enjoy mental work and consider planning ensembles is one of my strengths. At the culture
house, I get to do just that both within the groups and the daily activities of the community.