Are you looking for a New Year’s resolution? Why not volunteer for RSPB Scotland? Here Bethan Jones, our Volunteering Project Officer, takes you through five ways you could get involved in our work across the country this year.

Five ways to volunteer and help save nature in 2017

Looking to broaden your skills in the New Year? Want to help save nature in your spare time? What better way to begin 2017 than to start volunteering with us and know you are part of something big!

Nature across Scotland is in trouble so we need to act together to save it in every way that we can. A large part of this is inspiring and engaging people in our work, and this is where volunteering comes in.

There are hundreds of opportunities for you to explore your skills and interests, whilst really making a difference to our conservation work. The RSPB was founded by volunteers, and there are currently 1,800 people volunteering in Scotland giving an amazing 120,000 hours a year. Thank you to everyone who already contributes their time to us; your support is invaluable.

Our volunteering is not just about birds and wildlife; there are opportunities in all of our areas of work whether it be office based or out in the field. Here are some ideas to get your 2017 off to a nature friendly start!

1. Become a volunteer champion

Our new Volunteer Co-ordinator roles are the perfect way to expand your experience in the charity sector whilst helping to enhance our volunteering experience. These roles will be based in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, working with staff and volunteers to develop our work by expanding communications, championing volunteering and co-ordinating volunteer’s work.

This could be for you if you are looking for experience in volunteer engagement and would like to develop your skills in co-ordinating a team.

For more information on these roles contact:

2. Connect children to nature

Our schools outreach project, funded by Aldi, is in full swing, and we aim to connect as many children to nature as possible. Connection to nature sessions inspire children to explore the outdoors and take an interest in saving nature. We are looking for volunteers to help deliver this project, which is running in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, by teaching sessions in primary schools. You will receive training and will shadow a Schools Outreach Officer, before delivering sessions.

This could be for you if you have a passion for enthusing children about the natural world and want to expand your experience of delivering sessions to groups.

For more information contact:     

3. Make the most of nature’s gym

Making a home for nature in your garden is a great way to blow the holiday cobwebs away, get moving and enjoy spending times outdoors. We have lots of practical ideas for how to create wildlife havens on your doorstep, no matter how much time or outdoor space you have. 

This could be for you if you love nature and want to see it thrive in your surroundings

For ideas and to request a Giving Nature a Home pack click here.

4. Put a pin on it

Our pin-badge scheme is a vital source of fundraising, and directly supports our conservation work around the country. We need volunteers to manage pin-badge boxes in public places across Scotland, to raise money for saving nature. All you have to do is place boxes in local cafes and shops, and collect the money for banking on a regular basis.

This could be for you if you want flexible volunteering that gets you out and about in your local area. If you like fundraising and have a head for counting change!

For more information visit here.

5. Be a visitor experience intern

We offer a number of fantastic residential volunteering internships in Scotland, giving you the chance to volunteer in spectacular locations with free accommodation, great training and wonderful wildlife on your doorstep. One of our current opportunities is at Loch Garten in Abernethy where we’re looking for someone to help engage with our visitors and give them a fantastic experience. The role also includes engaging with our online audience through blogs and social media.

This could be for you if you want to gain wide ranging experience across visitor services in a conservation setting, whilst staying at our beautiful reserve.

More on this role can be found here.

Whatever time commitment or skills you have, you can get involved in saving nature!