It’s Volunteers’ Week 2016! Over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and this contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Behind these big numbers is a big contribution.
The theme of Volunteers’ Week 2016 is “The Big Celebration”, so each day Community Action Suffolk is celebrating some of Suffolk’s amazing volunteers and the organisations they support.
What volunteering do you currently do / have you recently done?
I currently volunteer at ZSEA Africa Alive! in Kessingland, Suffolk
How did you first get involved in volunteering?
I have done some volunteering in the past supporting charities with fund raising but I really wanted to do something where I could be involved more directly with the natural environment. I have always been interested in animals and birds but have little experience in how to care for them. When I heard about the opportunity to volunteer at Africa Alive I didn’t think they would take me!
Why is volunteering important to you?
Supporting the work of the Park and the Animal Management team is important to me because I am able to contribute (even if just in a small way) to the protection of endangered species and to the environment. You work directly under the guidance of a Keeper so you learn a lot about the individual animals and how to care for them. It’s something that in my ordinary working life I have never done but always thought must be interesting. I enjoy working outside and you get plenty of exercise. Most of all though, its great fun!
People often say that they don’t have time to volunteer, does it take up a lot of your time?
The volunteers have access to a website where we can book in the days and times that we can offer. This system is ideal for me as I work full time but not set days, so I can easily fit volunteering around my job.
What would you say to encourage anyone who hasn’t volunteered before or is thinking about it?
Give it a go! It’s a great way to get involved in things that interest you that maybe are not part of your normal routine. It’s good to work with such an energetic and happy team who are passionate about the work they do. It will make you smile.
Find out more about Africa Alive!
Are you inspired to volunteer? Maybe you’re looking for more volunteers? Find out how CAS can help by exploring the “Volunteering and social action” section of this website (see the menu at the top of the page).
You can contact the CAS Volunteering Team on 01473 345400 or [email protected].uk