Jackie Brown is RSPB Scotland’s Volunteering Development Officer. Here she details why she loves working with our RSPB Scotland volunteers and how we’ll be celebrating all they do for us during this year’s Volunteers’ Week, 1st-7th June. 

Celebrating our volunteers

Volunteers give the most generous of gifts: their time. They are as unique as the organisations they chose to donate time to but all united by their shared desire to do something meaningful for a cause that matters to them.

It’s incredibly rewarding to work in this field, with the passionate and enthusiastic people who give volunteering a go. Having a special week dedicated to celebrate the time and talent they share with us is a great way to show our appreciation and highlight all they do for us across Scotland. Volunteers’ Week this year will be recognising volunteering as the golden thread running through the country’s communities and wider society.

Volunteers are vital to the strength and vitality of Scottish society, with their contribution valued at £2 billion every year. According to recent research, Scotland’s young people are particularly engaged with participation levels at 52%; nearly double the adult figure of 27%.

With so many people volunteering, there is a huge range of achievements to shout about and RSPB Scotland has a lot to thank our volunteers for.

From busy offices to braving the elements on remote islands, our volunteers are taking action for nature that is really making a difference. Without this vast pool of time and talent so much less would get done, fewer people would hear our message and all important connections to the environment and wildlife would be missed.

As detailed in last year State of Nature report Scotland’s wildlife is in crisis so the time and effort put in by our 2,200 volunteers is invaluable, whether it be as a one off, a few hours per year or every week without fail.

To all of our volunteers RSPB Scotland says: your passion is infectious, your support invaluable and your contribution hugely appreciated, THANK YOU.

During volunteers week we’ll be celebrating all that our volunteers do and the impact their donated time makes.

First off, I’d like to highlight some of the great work of our volunteers at our Edinburgh headquarters. Many people, when they think of RSPB Scotland, may assume our volunteering is all outdoor based but as you’ll hear our office volunteers do an incredible amount for us;  from getting the important headlines from our papers to helping kids make a connection to nature, over 100 volunteers give their time to help in our offices.

Brian, Leader of the RSPB Edinburgh Local Group

One of these fantastic volunteers, Brian is being celebrated by the Volunteer Centre in Edinburgh at their Inspiring Volunteering Awards ceremony and we couldn’t be more pleased for this well earned recognition. Not only is Brian the leader of the RSPB Edinburgh Local group, he also helps out at our events, helping our Community Greenspaces Project Officer and even fundraising by looking after pin badge boxes around the city. His passion for birds and other wildlife comes across when he is chatting to people attending events and he is happy to share his knowledge to anyone interested in the natural world.

Nigel delving into the day's news

Another of our amazing volunteers Nigel has been volunteering with our media team for over 12 years. He comes in every week to collate our media coverage - a really important service for finding out where our message to inspire people to help save nature is reaching.

Along with Brian and Nigel we have volunteers helping in most of our departments in Edinburgh taking on roles in everything from policy research to welcoming guests at our reception and they all give their absolute best.

We’re marking Volunteers’ Week here at RSPB Scotland through our blog and social media so keep an eye on Scottish Nature Notes, and our Facebook and Twitter, to discover more.

And if you’ve been inspired to give some of your time to us take a look at our volunteering page to discover more about the opportunities we have!