Vicky started volunteering with the Park Rangers at Forest Farm in 2016 whilst studying at university. Here she met Meriel, the Education Officer of Bute Park, and she decided to become an Education Volunteer in Bute Park too. Vicky enjoys helping out with school groups and holiday activities and sharing her joy for wildlife with them.
Why did you choose to volunteer?
I originally volunteered at Forest Farm, as I studied Environmental Science and wanted to gain some experience to see what directions I could go in with my degree. Here, I particularly enjoyed working with groups of children and sharing my passion for wildlife and nature with them. When I met Meriel at a volunteering event she offered me the opportunity to assist her at Bute Park as an Education Volunteer, where I can continue to work with groups and children and do something I started to love.
How did you hear about the role?
I knew about Forest Farm as I live nearby. I took the initiative to stop by and ask about volunteering as I was keen to join. After volunteering there for a year, I then met Meriel at a volunteering event.
How often do you volunteer?
Currently once a week, but it really depends on how much I am needed, but during school holidays when events are on, I tend to volunteer twice a week.
What does your typical day volunteering look like?
It all really depends on the weather, the age of the children who are coming and the activities we choose to do. There isn’t really a typical day and we have to adapt to the children that come in, but that is what I like about it so much. I mainly help with school groups, which means we do games and activities outside. For events in the school holidays we do arts and crafts as well. My main responsibility is to get the children engaged and interested in the activities and help them, which is a lot of fun.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
The children, it is so nice to see how excited they get from being outside and how interested they are in everything. It is so encouraging to see how attentive children are to nature. I also really like the responsibility I am given whilst volunteering. Since I have volunteered for a while, I feel like I am able to lead more activities as well and gain more experience.
How has the volunteering experience benefitted you?
Of course I am doing something I am passionate about, but volunteering has given me a direction of what I really want to do after university. Through volunteering and working with children, I realised that that is what I want to do – sharing my passion with others. It also has helped me whilst looking for employment after university. Meriel is now one of my referees when applying for jobs and people have been really interested in my experience volunteering for Bute Park. They have found this admirable which has ultimately led me to getting my new job.