People volunteer with The Conservation Volunteers for a huge variety of reasons, take a look at some of our volunteers' stories below.
After taking part in a number of training courses and volunteer groups, Sharon became a project leader in September 2007, taking charge of the East Sussex Midweek Group from the beginning of 2008. Since becoming a key volunteer she has discovered that she can lead a team, give opinions and express ideas effectively. Sharon believes working as a key volunteer will help with her plans for future employment.
Cara became a key volunteer after finding out about the Schools Volunteer Officer post by chance when walking past our Hollybush Conservation Centre office. She saw it as a way to train and gain practical experience in environmental conservation. Since then, Cara has learned to fell trees and to teach others how to do it safely. With at least a year's experience to help with her future career, she is now working for the Field Studies Council at their Malham Tarn Field Centre in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Lynn became a key volunteer in 2003 in order to gain an NVQ in environmental conservation. Working with Stafford The Conservation Volunteers and the Telford Green Gym has proved very enjoyable, and she will never forget planting her first 100 trees! She has qualified as a residential leader and the experience has given her useful skills for her work as a part time administrator at the woodland charity, the Green Wood Centre.
Jan is a midweek volunteer and an occasional leader/driver in the North of England. She has received a lot of practical training from The Conservation Volunteers which has stood her in good stead for her work with other conservation organisations. Jan runs several Conservation Holidays a year for The Conservation Volunteers. Her most memorable moment was with a group of teenagers on a holiday at Nell Bank. They all got on well, pitched in wholeheartedly and had a great time, even though she was old enough to be their granny!
Lesley's passion for the planet led her to become a key volunteer with The Conservation Volunteers in 1986. She is enjoying the opportunity to share her enthusiasm with a wider audience. She especially cherishes the memory of a little girl holding her hand while saying "thank you" for showing her "the underwater creatures" after a pond project.
Jackie became a key volunteer in November 2006 as a way to acquiring new skills, after learning about the post from a project officer. For her, the main benefits of being a Key Volunteer are free training and the chance to provide greater input to the management of projects. She has worked on the Green Gym in schools, where she has gained great satisfaction from "seeing the light come on" when a child understands something. She hopes the combination of her experience with The Conservation Volunteers and a degree will result in a job!
Caroline works at the Forest of Avon Tree Life Centre, where she shows visiting groups and new volunteers how a tree nursery is run and maintained. She has been there since 2001 and has acquired enough knowledge to be able to make decisions in her section of the Centre. Her aim for the future is to expand the areas in which she can work within The Conservation Volunteers.