We're aiming for a better environment where people feel valued, included and involved. If you're looking for the same thing, you're in the right place!
There's an old saying about volunteering - "No pay, great rewards" - and we want to reward you by helping you enjoy your time with The Conservation Volunteers, helping you to get as much as you can out of the experience. We will offer you the chance to make friends, learn new skills, and make a visible difference to people and places.
Here are some of the things you can get involved in. Somewhere, in among all the groups and projects, you'll find people like you, working on the same things that you care about and enjoy doing.
159 Ravenhill Road
Conservation Action Teams run from Belfast, North Down, Coleraine and L/Derry delivering practical environmental projects throughout Northern Ireland.
The work we do is varied and depends on the season. During winter the teams plant trees, lay hedges, construct living willow features and are responsible for the management of woodlands in several parks. In the Summer months the work is more varied, from creating wildlife gardens in schools to constructing new paths or stone walling.
No previous experience is necessary as experienced supervisors are on hand to instruct and demonstrate the skills needed to carry out any of the tasks. As part of the Conservation Action Team, volunteers can benefit from a programme of training in practical conservation skills. These courses are free of charge to regular volunteers.
The teams are made up of people from various backgrounds, ages and experiences, all with their own reason for volunteering. The teams also provide ideal placement opportunities for work experience.
As well as volunteers, there are also opportunities for Volunteer Officers, leaders and drivers.
The Conservation Volunteers relies on the support of Volunteer Officers, a role which requires a commitment towards organising The Conservation Volunteers' activities through a specific role or task.
As a Volunteer Officer, you will have a formal understanding with your manager about the role you will undertake and the support you will receive. We do not ask for any form of legally binding contract of employment between ourselves and any of its volunteers. All Volunteer Officers receive training and support to enable them to fulfil the varied roles they undertake from helping to organise our activities to carrying out vital work behind the scenes. 72% of Volunteer Officers go on to full employment or further education to develop their interests.
* Some Volunteer Officer posts require checks to be carried out to allow individuals to work with young people and/or vulnerable adults.
Project Leaders guide groups of volunteers on practical projects. As a leader you would train volunteers in the skills necessary to work safely and complete the task, and you would also make sure that they enjoy their experience. The Conservation Volunteers has a structured support system that reflects the value we place on leaders. There are opportunities for leaders in all of our activities including Conservation Action Teams, Green Gym and our Tree Nursery. Anyone can become a Project Leader, you don't need to know everything – just ask local staff for more details.
Minibus drivers are essential to our work. Without them, volunteers would not be able to get to site. Our vehicles can be driven by anyone with the appropriate TCV Drivers Card. You will need to have had a full license for 2 years, be aged between 21 and 70, have less than 4 penalty points and pass an endorsed external assessment.
As part of our Tree Nursery team, you will be helping to develop our native tree-growing programme. The work is very labour intensive, and equally enjoyable. We collect native tree seeds and grow these on a large scale. This work cannot be carried out without the help of volunteers.
You will gain insight into the fundamental rules of horticulture by collecting, processing, storing and planting locally collected tree seeds. The whole process is very bonding and often involves travelling to interesting places. For long-term volunteers, some training is available. We work Monday to Friday.