You may have spoken to Nick when you visited the centre, one of the many faces of Bute Park Education Centre and one of our front-of-house volunteers. When he started his retirement he thought it would be nice to spend some time volunteering. Nick has been a volunteer for nearly four years now and has become an active team member, who holds a lot of experience and knowledge about the park.
Why did you choose to volunteer?
I had just retired and was looking for opportunities to remain active and get out of the house. I didn’t want to feel stuck at home and thought that volunteering would be a nice opportunity to meet people and continue to work and learn. I currently volunteer at more than one place, but have volunteered at Bute Park for quite a while now.
How did you hear about the role?
I looked for volunteering opportunities on volunteeringwales.net. This website was really helpful as I was able to look for positions near me, which is where I found Bute Park. As I didn’t want to volunteer in a shop and am interested in gardening and nature, I thought that this would be a great place to volunteer.
I first started as a front-of-house volunteer as well as helping out with the gardening at Bute Park. I really enjoyed supporting the gardeners with the Bute Park flower borders but I haven’t been able to continue that recently.
How often do you volunteer?
At the moment I come in once a week, but sometimes I also help out on weekends and at events. I find the busiest periods are when the school holidays or half term starts, so I offer to help then if I am available.
When there are specific events such as school visits, I help out sometimes as well. I have also volunteered at the RHS show, which has been a lot of fun, as there were so many people there.
What does your typical day volunteering look like?
As a front-of-house volunteer I welcome visitors to the Bute Park Education Centre and point them to events or things to do in the park. This could be specific events, but also the trails which the park has to offer.
If it is quiet, I also do other work such as photocopying and, in general, offering Meriel and the other staff members a helping hand.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I really enjoy the interaction with the public and talking to the different people that visit the centre. It is nice to chat to such a variety of people, sometimes tourists from abroad or locals or students. I find it very fulfilling to help people out and provide information where needed so that visitors can discover the park properly.
I also feel close to nature and have an interest in plants and gardening, so it is nice to be surrounded by people who have that knowledge and can help me.