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
No I’m not Lazy just busy. After making beds, breakfast, lunches, dressing children, dressing myself, supervising teeth brushing, tidying up, planning the dinner, checking my emails, checking my diary, feeding the cats, taking the kids to school, checking the time of ‘that’ meeting, driving to work, planning my blog for the day, thinking about the countless other things that regularly fall off my to do list, and all before I start work at 9am... Volunteering gets harder to fit in.
So it is with relief that I get involved with the Big Garden Birdwatch every January. Far enough from Christmas that I’m back in the old routine but close enough to New Year to be included in my new year’s resolutions and boost in purpose (more recycling, get out more, help the environment...) Big Garden Birdwatch represents to me an opportunity to be involved in something that really helps The RSPB monitor our birds and wildlife, gets the kids involved and I can do it all in one hour without having to upset the delicate balance of chaos that is the rest of my working day.
During Big Garden Birdwatch two year’s ago we had an abundance of birds in our garden – house sparrows, a robin, blackbirds, starlings and a collared dove to name a few. Last year not so good on account of the snow melting two days before the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend. The kids really wanted to put down everything we had seen while the snow was forcing them to our feeders. We resisted the temptation but were suitably gutted.
I’m always preparing myself for the sound of groaning when I turn off the xbox and TV for 1 hour to entice them to do something else (who knew kids hated shopping so much) but strangely this never seems to happen with the Big Garden Birdwatch, after a few minutes of fidgeting they settle down to outdo each other’s list before fighting over who will enter the results online.
Once done, everyone is off on the rest of their chores, as it’s the weekend the husband is outside sorting out our fence or some other house item that requires his attention, I’ve got washing, tidying, shopping, sorting, homework and a dozen other things to do, the kids are back to squabbling but I can put a big tick against volunteering and it didn’t require the coordination of MI5 to get us out the house to do it.
If you’re interested in helping out for 1 hour this weekend you can sign up on our website: www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch