Do It For Others

Hand-painted mural artists Graffiti Life have collaborated with papercut artist Poppy Chancellor for the first time to create London’s largest paper cut. The team transformed a new Poppy’s Papercut design into a mural in Shoreditch with the aim of encouraging people to volunteer in their community.

Volunteering can be such a life changing experience, not only because you’re actively giving back to your community but because you are actually changing and improving the quality of people’s lives one step at a time. We don’t know what could be more rewarding and fulfilling than that. As a company, we take pride in giving back as much as possible and one member of our team in particular’s personal experience with volunteering inspired her to highlight just how rewarding that can be. We wanted to try and encourage others who may not have volunteered before. After speaking with friends and family, common reasons for not volunteering their time are that people think they don’t have enough time to commit or make a worthwhile difference, that it’s too time-consuming or just not particularly fun. Graffiti Life wanted to create artwork and a campaign that challenged this and depicted volunteering as a fun and rewarding experience that can strengthen relationships in the community.

As fans of Poppy’s Papercuts, Graffiti Life reached out to Poppy Chancellor to see if she would like to collaborate and create a papercut for this campaign. Poppy’s style is bold and full of positivity, fun and love, which is exactly how Graffiti Life wanted to depict volunteering.

Poppy’s design demonstrates a group of women giving each other piggybacks with the slogan ‘Do It For Others’ – a simple but empowering message that resonates with the tone of Poppy’s previous designs. Poppy explained that she wanted to show volunteering as people having fun while supporting each other. Graffiti Life couldn’t agree more which is why this collaboration fitted so well.

We spoke in detail to the lady who brought this idea to life, Kayleigh, about her personal experience and inspiration behind such an important cause.

Why did you choose to have this mural painted?

“I wanted to have a mural painted that would encourage people to become a volunteer. It was really important to me that the mural not only looked great but had a responsible and important message attached. I chose volunteering as this mural’s subject as it’s something that I’m really passionate about. I moved to London two years ago and have really enjoyed all the fun things the city has to offer, but I also didn’t feel like I was fully part of the community or giving much back, so I started looking for volunteering places and found the Trussel Trust Food Bank in Highbury. I’ve been volunteering there for eight months now and just absolutely love it. It’s good to feel like you’re helping someone, whether it’s as simple as giving them their food package or being an ear to chat to about their circumstances. I’ve met so many great characters there – clients and other volunteers alike – that I wouldn’t usually cross paths with.”

“A lot of people might feel that they don’t have the time to volunteer, however even if you give your time once a month or once in six months that’s still a huge help to an organisation. I think if everyone volunteered even a little part of their time it would really improve society as a whole, that’s why I’m so passionate about it.”

Why did you choose to collaborate with Poppy’s Papercuts and why?

“Poppy makes amazing papercuts that are full of positivity, fun and the message is always empowering. I really love her work and wanted the mural to show that volunteering can be fun and empowering, rather than something you just do for your CV. I asked Poppy if she could work around the slogan “Do It For Others”, I wanted it to be bold and snappy so it would grab people’s attention. I’ve been a really big fan of Poppy’s work for a couple of years now after finding her on Instagram, so it was a dream to have her on board!”

“It was also really important to me that we collaborated with someone from the volunteering world so that the mural’s not just seen as something beautiful that people take photos in front of, but it also has a call to action. As an ambassador for volunteering and the positive effects it has on people, NCVO were an obvious choice. While they don’t place people in volunteering positions directly, they offer a heap of resources to help you find something that’s right for you. I was delighted when they wanted to get behind the campaign and be featured on the mural.”

To see this mural head over to Ebor Street in Shoreditch where you can find it opposite Shoreditch House. Poppy’s original papercut has now been lost forever in a TfL tunnel after an unfortunate accident on the way to see Graffiti Life painting her mural so this is your only chance to see the finished design! The mural will be on display until Sunday 19th August.

To find a volunteering position that works for you head to

Find us at @graffiti_life