IF your New Year’s resolution is to get fit, give back or take better care of your wellbeing, why not consider doing something that covers all three and take up volunteering?
There are volunteer roles to suit every interest, skill set, time commitment and passion.
Volunteering has changed a lot in recent years, with many roles now designed to be more flexible, as well as more need for “pro-bono” professional skills.
Volunteering roles are no longer the preserve of charity shops and churches, you can also volunteer with local community groups, international movements, social enterprises, or more informally to help in your community – as we saw during the pandemic with the boom in mutual aid groups .
While it’s important to remember that volunteering is primarily about advancing a cause, there are also many personal benefits to volunteering, whether that’s getting fit, meeting people, or learning new skills.
If you are experiencingeco-anxiety, then volunteering with a nature restoration or climate action group can also help by giving you practical, tangible ways to make a difference, as well as helping you connect with people who are in the same side stand
Organizations like the Somerset Wildlife Trust simply could not achieve what we do with the hard work of volunteers.
We involve volunteers in every area of our work, from practical tasks on reserves to commenting on planning proposals, from organizing events to our wonderful trustees who are ultimately responsible for running the charity.
We have ambitious plans for a Wilder Somerset, including extending nature recovery far beyond our 71 nature areas, and inspiring one in four people to take action for nature in their everyday lives – but we can’t do any of this without our volunteers.
Time is the most visible barrier to volunteering, but did you know that a responsible curatorial role can take as little as an hour a week?
Other volunteer roles may only require a one-day or two-year drop-in. Here at Somerset Wildlife Trust we are on the lookout for people who can share their passion for nature as volunteers for local events, a role that requires a minimum commitment of just four days a year.
Check out our community action map to find an independent nature group in your local area.
Find volunteering roles of any kind across Somerset FUNK.
Written by Bryony Slaymaker, Wilder Communities manager, Somerset Wildlife Trust