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From a volunteers perspective...

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A volunteers building a wall

"Looking for an organisation that offers rewarding and enjoyable hands-on accredited training in a range of skills, combined with a genuine warm welcome from all concerned?

From my own experience, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) in Northern Ireland, covers all those needs.

I joined TCV while recovering from an injury. Interested in horticulture and conservation, I was looking for a way to build on my home-based knowledge, get some hands-on experience and recognised qualifications. TCV offered that and, through various community projects, a rewarding way of putting something useful back into the community – while also taking into account my own capabilities.

In just a few months I have started a City & Guilds level 2 horticulture course supported by the European Social Fund, been involved in maintenance work on community garden sites and had a go at the likes of willow dome and fence weaving, environmentally friendly seed pot making and woodland hedge laying. All in a relaxed and safe environment.

I have made some great friends along the way.

All staff and volunteers have been very friendly, welcoming and encouraging from the moment I met them: Willing to help, keen to let me have go at a range of activities.

I would definitely recommend TCV to anyone. Just wish I had contacted Beech House years ago!"