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What can I expect from volunteering?

Volunteering_Tom MarshallVolunteering_Tom Marshall

Here we'll try and answer any questions you might have. If you're still not sure, just get in touch!

We will help you get started...

If you see an opportunity that you are interested in or you have an idea of the kind of volunteering you would like to do, we will try and direct you to the most appropriate staff member for you to discuss this with. Once you find an opportunity and are willing to give it a go, we aim to give all volunteers an appropriate induction to the work of the Trust and to the role you will be undertaking.

We’ll give ongoing support and training...

We don’t just leave you to it. Some tasks will require volunteers to be supervised - like practical, outdoor activities - and other tasks will need less direct support, but you will always have a staff member who is responsible for you and there to help if you need it. We aim to offer any necessary training where this is relevant to the role you are undertaking. You will get the chance to meet your staff contact regularly (if you're not working with them each time you volunteer) and to ask them any questions you want. We want Cheshire Wildlife Trust to be a safe, fair and positive place to volunteer.

The right tools for the job...

We will provide you with a safe, healthy work place. Any equipment you need will be provided; including protective gloves or other safety equipment if necessary for the role. We’ll show you how to do things properly and safely. We also take out insurance to cover you in case an accident does happen; but we try to make sure this is rare. Many of our staff have a First Aid training certificate, and at major events and task days someone with this knowledge will be on hand. The Trust prides itself on being open, fair and welcoming; whatever your background we think there is a place next to nature for you to take part, learn and enjoy - so get involved!

We’ve got it covered...

If you have any other questions about health and safety, ours and your responsibilities, how we work, who we work with, or anything else please just ask - we probably have the answer to hand or we’ll do our best to find out. You can call us on 01948 820728 or e-mail info@cheshirewt.org.uk

Your questions answered...

What do volunteers do?
Can I come and look after injured or sick wildlife?
Who can volunteer?
Why volunteer with us?
Do volunteers have to be members?
Do you need prior experience to become a volunteer?
How much time will it take?
What if I am in receipt of state benefits such as Job Seeker's Allowance?
What about young volunteers, those under 18?


What do volunteers do?

They count butterflies in our meadows, pull up invasive plants on our nature reserves, check on our cows, help write letters to our members, give children an amazing first encounter with nature, provide a friendly voice on the telephone or a smile at Bickley Hall Farm, raise money to buy new tools and pond dipping nets and so much more…


Can I come and look after injured or sick wildlife?

The Wildlife Trusts are not direct-care animal welfare specialists (like the RSPCA) or run animal hospitals. Whilst we often work with wildlife, this tends to be in the form of visual surveys or specialist monitoring rather than direct hands-on protection or rehabilitation. Please check the latest posts for anything that may suit what you are looking to get involved with. Badger vaccination is only undertaken by our trained, licenced specialists, however there may be some opportunities to help with preparatory work - please bear in mind though you are unlikely to see badgers during these tasks.


Who can volunteer?

We have volunteers of all ages and abilities from five year olds from local schools planting bluebells to retirees surveying wildlife. Our volunteers are from all over Cheshire and Wirral (and sometimes beyond) and they come from all walks of life. They bring a variety of skills and experiences. If you are interested in wildlife, helping people or the great outdoors we probably have something for you.


Why volunteer with us?

Volunteering has many benefits for both the volunteer and for us as your local Wildlife Trust - it’s a real win-win! opportunity!

  • Maybe you have, or are about to retire and are looking for a new interest?
  • Perhaps you work in an office and want to get outdoors at the weekend or you want to stay fit but find the gym a bore?
  • Volunteering in the outdoors has been shown to help people keep physically fit, but it’s also good for your head. It can be relaxing and uplifting, inspiring and great for your mind, and can help those living with some mental health conditions.
  • Maybe you’re looking for a fun and educational activity to do as a family; we’d love to see you!
  • Students and university graduates looking for a career in the countryside or conservation will find volunteering an invaluable addition to their experience.
  • And above all else, you’ll enjoy it; meet likeminded people and make new friends along the way.

Do volunteers have to be members?

No. People offer their support in a variety of ways. Some people give donations of money, often by joining as a supporter; some people offer their time as volunteers. Some do both. Whichever you do, we are extremely grateful.


Do you need prior experience to become a volunteer?

No. We encourage people from all walks of the community, with a variety of amateur and professional skills or life experiences to become involved in our work. Some roles require specific knowledge but most allow you to learn as you go along, after receiving appropriate on the job training. For regular volunteers and for more involved roles we will make formal training available as and when it is needed.


How much time will it take?

You can give as much or as little time as you like, some people give the odd hour here and there; others give a day, a week, or more. For some roles, a regular committment can be more satisfying as you get the chance to see a project or site progress with your hard work!


What if I am in receipt of state benefits such as Job Seeker's Allowance?

You can still volunteer. There has been some confusion in the past, but volunteering does not prevent you from looking for work or from being ready to start work immediately. If you are unsure please speak to us about your circumstances.


What about young volunteers, those under 18?

Cheshire Wildlife Trust encourages volunteers of a wide range of ages as long as they are able to take part safely. For young people under 18 we require parents or guardians to accompany you during your volunteering. With all of our volunteering tasks, the final decision rests with the staff member in charge, depending on the risks that may be involved for those taking part.