For a little while now -- I think almost two years, but with my memory it's almost impossible for me to be sure-- I've been volunteering with the Ministry Of Stories in Hoxton. I've done a few bits and pieces, and am a fully trained up Story Minister, but predominantly I live illustrate during the Storymaking Workshops.
During the Storymaking Workshops a class from a local school will go to the Ministry, and come up with brand new, original stories for the fearsome, unseen Chief. The session is in two parts -- during the first, the class collectively write the first half of the story, democratically voting on key elements like characters and settings. During the second each child finishes off the story in their own way.
The illustrating part takes place during the first half of the session -- as the children write their story, the illustrator comes up with 3 images on a flipchart at the front of the room, which as they are completed are handed through to The Chief's office.
I got involved originally just to do something different -- for one, I'd never done live illustrating, and thought it might be fun, and I needed something to get me out of the office. After illustrating a couple of sessions, I decided to get trained up so that I could help out as a mentor during the half of the workshop, and I've also used that training to help with a few of the after-school sessions.
Of the six sessions I've illustrated (I thought I'd done more, but not according to their website...) the last three have involved zombies. I don't know if that's because of how I look, or something? Although I'm not the only illustrator to have done zombies, my hit-rate seems disproportioaltely high. Besides that, though, I really enjoy going down there and helping out -- the kids are always fantastic, and come up with incredible ideas every time. And the other volunteers are amazing, and great to work with. My only regret is that becasue of other life-stuff I don't get to do more with them...
If you feel so inclined, there are a few ways you can get involved -- THIS PAGE at the Ministry's site will have details.
Previous stories can be found at the story-making section of the site -- clicking the pictures I've posted here will take you to its respective story.