Within the RSPB volunteers are an important part of the day to day running of all aspects of this wonderful charity. From working on reserves, administration, people engagment to working in the shops and cafes, without volunteers we wouldn't be able to continue giving nature a home.
Here at RSPB South Stack we recently had an awards ceremony to celebrate the hard work put in by our volunteers over the years, which for some has been many! However, this got us thinking, what make somebody come and volunteer for the RSPB for so long. We put this question to some of our volunteers and there responses are as follows:
Mel and Babs O' Hara:
"This is something that I have not consciously thought about before!
My wife and I have been volunteering at RSPB South Stack for the past four years. Intially it was my wife's idea, we had been retirees for a while and felt that we would like to get involved in something. We were both keen on wildlife and already members of the RSPB. As there is an RSPB on the island, namely South Stack we felt that this was an ideal place to offer our services.
From the moment that we joined the team we were made to feel very welcome and four years on this has only grown better. I have learnt much more about wildlife than I did previously and much more about the RSPB in general. In my role (which varies) I get to meet some very interesting members of the public. I work in one of the most scenic places in the British Isles, all this before I even mention that I feel that I am helping nature 'Find a Home.'
If I could sum up my feelings about volunteering it would be like this. " I have had an old dressing gown for many years. It is thread bare and avoided many attempts by my wife to discard it, she has bought me many nicer dressing gowns over the years but I still cling on, why?
Every time I put on my old dressing gown it gives me that feeling that is hard to explain. Comfort does not do it justice, when I studied German language many years ago thay had a word 'Gemütlichkeit'. The translation goes something like this, a situation that induces a cheerful mood, peace of mind, with connotation of belonging, coziness and unhurry.
P.S. I Know i also speak for my wife when as when i showed her this note she said that she feels exactly the same."
"After taking early retirement from a very demanding full-time job in the NHS, I needed to do something worthwhile part-time. I have always had a love of nature and was an RSPB member, so I decided to see if they needed any volunteers. I started as an Assistant Information Officer in Ellin's Tower and rapidly fell in love with South Stack Reserve - the fantastic views, changing light, succession of stunning wild flowers and the birds! Seeing the big smile on people's faces when you show them a puffin, peregrine or porpoise makes it all worthwhile.
When the shop opened I volunteered to do an additional day helping in the shop, which I do all year round. I enjoy the variety of two different volunteering roles, but have also helped with diverse tasks such as litter picking, clearing tables and washing up, burning heather and helping move sheep!"
Eveline and Bill Clark:
"What motivates me and Bill is knowing we are helping birds, butterflies and all wildlife from either the work done directly and the reserve such as putting in fence posts and helping to move sheep, to now working in the shop with all profits helping UK wildlife."
From all the team here at South Stack we would like to say a great big thank you to all our volunteers that help with the day to day running of the reserve, making sure we can do as much as we can for nature. Below are some of the photographs from the awards ceremony.
Mo Blackburn recieving her certificate for 5 years of service.
Bill and Eveline Clark after seven years with the RSPB.
Lynne accepting on her husbands behalf a certificate and badge for over 10 years of volunteering for the RSPB.