Graduate Monthly

Volunteering & Placements

At ONCA, we provide opportunities for people to gain experience in a professional arts environment while supporting ONCA’s activities and development.

My first experience volunteering with ONCA was at Blackbirds Film Festival in 2016. I loved it. I was finding life hard in Brighton, but being in ONCA’s space felt right. I remember telling Alice (the gallery co-ordinator at the time and now good friend) that ‘I feel like I am in a living room. It just feels so comfortable and accepting, even though I don’t know anyone here.’ ONCA was my place.

Since then, I have worked with ONCA to deliver kombucha workshops, empowering dozens of people to take control of at least a small part of their health and food. I also helped with several evening events, the renovations for the re-branding in 2017, participated in several beach cleans and worked as a graphic facilitator at the Dream Your School conference day.

– Tricia Enns,  ONCA Vole (2016-18)

Volunteering at ONCA

Since opening in 2012, we’ve been amazed at the range of skills and support people have brought us. Our volunteers enable us to continue providing great, inclusive exhibitions and projects for everyone to enjoy. We recognise time is precious, and hope that in exchange for yours, we can provide you with valuable experiences, growth and learning.

We love our volunteers as much as a riverbank loves voles, so we call them voles. They are generous and creative: essential to the ONCA ecosystem. We have two types of vole positions: Voles and Perma-Voles. Voles help out on a casual basis, say a few times a month, and Perma-Voles dedicate one day every week to supporting ONCA on an ongoing basis. Both roles might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Setting up and taking down exhibitions
  • Invigilating exhibitions (ensuring art works are safe, welcoming visitors etc)
  • Assisting with events and workshops
  • Assisting with education and outreach
  • Gardening & DIY
  • Writing for our blog
  • Photographing events and exhibitions
  • Assisting with fundraising and marketing
  • Assisting with research projects

For more information, please download our Volunteering Policy.


Applying to be a Vole

We regularly receive requests from people who want to volunteer at ONCA. We typically communicate our volunteer vacancies via our general newsletter. If you’d like to get notified when we have new opportunities, please subscribe to the newsletter.

We host four open-evenings a year for people to find out more about what volunteering with ONCA involves, as well as an opportunity to meet the ONCA team and our other volunteers. We require everyone to attend an open evening before starting to volunteer with us.
If you have any queries, please email

Next Open Evening date: 15 October 2019.


Student Placements

ONCA currently works in partnership with the University of Sussex, First Generation Scholars programme and Internship In Brighton (Erasmus) to host student placements.

We don’t currently take applications for internships or placements, but we welcome enquiries from universities or colleges who would like to partner with us, or from students who are interested in finding out about placement opportunities with us. If you would like to discuss future opportunities please email