Ever since The RSPB was formed by volunteers to counter the trade in plumes for women's hats, Volunteering has been an integral part of all we do for nature. From all walks of life and bringing a vast variety of skills, love and enthusiasm, Volunteers help us Give Nature a Home. Here are 4 reasons why volunteering for the RSPB helps Give Nature a Home.
Reason 1: Sharing your Passion
I’ve been lucky enough to work with volunteers who have shown immense passion for what they do for The RSPB. Volunteers who have been with us for over 40 years, volunteers who manage to tot up thousands of hours volunteering in one year! By the time someone phones me to enquire about volunteering, they are already fully committed, they took time to think about who they wanted to give their free time to – free time is a precious commodity these days and we are privileged that so many want to spend their time helping our cause.
Reason 2: You bring knowledge, and not just about birds and wildlife.
Typically, people will think about volunteering for the RSPB as conservation, outside and hands on. That is true – it is a major part of the fantastic things that volunteers do for us. But you don’t have to know anything about birds to be able to help us. Volunteers now bring a massive contribution in the way of knowledge and skills. People skills, management skills, logistics, media, education, IT, analysis, catering and of course conservation – the number of volunteers bringing their expertise to help mentor/guide and influence is growing rapidly.
Reason 3: Being the next generation
Work experience, Youth volunteering, student placements and Volunteer Internships all help us shape the next generation of conservation and nature enthusiasts. How can we not take up the mantle for motivating and training those individuals who will hopefully take what they learn with the RSPB out into the world and help make a world richer in Nature and Wildlife.
Reason 4: Nearly 18,000 volunteers can’t be wrong!
With nearly 18,000 volunteers helping the RSPB on a regular basis it is without a doubt that we couldn't be the organisation we are without our volunteers. Volunteers help us on every level of our organisation, at every location and in so many ways, we really wouldn't be able to continue the important work we do for conservation without you.
Image Credit: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
What do you think about when you think of The RSPB? Reserves? Conservation? Birds? Nature?
What about buildings and signage? machines? cars?
Its easy to think about volunteering in terms of practical conservation, surveying, showing people wildlife and fundraising. But what about the fantastic contribution that volunteers make behind the scenes to help The RSPB do more for nature? Builders, carpenters, handymen and women who keep reserves ticking over so that every time you visit your favourite local reserve everything is running smoothly and looking great.
Reserves need handy volunteers to help assist with everything from machine maintenance and repairs to building, painting and maintaining buildings as well as signage and car maintenance. So you see it’s not just about birds!
If you know your Continuous band saw from your scroll saw or are good with a hammer and nails, have electrical, plumbing, building or carpentry skills then why not offer your handy skills to your local reserve?
Have a look at some of our current roles:
If you are a handy volunteer to have around – we look forward to hearing from you soon.
So you're looking for a career in conservation and are thinking about volunteering but your friends are telling you to make sure you get the most from the time you give. Here are our top tips to getting the most from your volunteering and increase your chances of getting that dream job.
1. Plan ahead
Find an advert for a job you’d love to do in the future, get the person specification for the job and use it as a skills checklist. Which of the skills could volunteering give you?
Speak to other members of your volunteering team, your line manager, other staff and volunteers. People are usually happy to give advice if you ask them.
3. Remember that everything counts
Don’t underestimate the value of transferrable skills that don’t seem directly related to conservation, such as time management, team work, planning, organisation and people skills.
4. Try it out
Volunteering can help you to get a feel for what a job will involve, so you can see if you will like it before you commit yourself to training.
5. Be flexible
Fit volunteering in when you can. The RSPB offer a wide range of opportunities from full time residential volunteering to one-off days now and then. You can find all of our current roles at rspb.org.uk/volunteering
6. Love what you do
Volunteering shows passion and commitment to your chosen career path – something that prospective employers will want to see.
Check out the Careers in Conservation web pages at rspb.org.uk/phoenix/careers/ for more tips and guidance on landing that dream job.
Volunteering Development Coordinator