3rd January 2017
Volunteer to benefit the community
- Author: The Editor
- Published: 23rd October 2017
- Categories: Blog, Clanfield
Volunteer to benefit the community.
This village, like many across our nation, is fortunate to have local people who volunteer their time and skills for the benefit of the community.
Volunteers offer their help in a variety of roles and many organisations – education, churches, sports, family, young and elderly people, local government and countryside. For the full list just visit our Community Directory; http://www.clanfieldonline.com/4/community-directory
Tasks may be varied, such as: the Clanfield/Horndean Litter Pick on Sun 8 October – think of it as a ‘green gym’ where you clock up your daily steps whilst making our village beautiful; assisting the Clanfield Voluntary Care Group by driving elderly, frail neighbours to appointments; training to help families in difficulty with Home-Start Butser; volunteer at Butser Ancient Farm; hold a coffee morning or offer your support to fundraising events for our many local organisations – they all do good work and need our help.
In these times of budget cuts volunteers are more vital than ever, so make a difference this autumn. If we all gave the equivalent of two hours a month it would make a big impact – whatever your age or experience – we can all offer something.
You may be surprised how much volunteering gives back to you – in new skills, friendships and fun - as described below.
What do South Downs National Park Volunteer Rangers actually do?
Russell Cleaver – Volunteer Ranger SDNP
This is a question often asked of us volunteers by friends or even strangers. Well, to answer this question better than trying to remember what I’ve done over the last 4 months (always a problem when one is of advanced years), I thought I’d do a quick check of task programmes, as well as ask a few other volunteers in the South Downs what they’ve been engaged in.
I soon found records of work varied considerably across the National Park. So, it proved impossible to quantify the total days spent on many tasks. But at least I discovered the sheer variety of work we undertook, so could grade a list of tasks from ones most frequently worked, down to those that were only occasionally encountered.
Top of the list, unsurprisingly, is ‘Scrub bashing’, a long-time favourite(?) for volunteers. This title covers a variety of jobs from weeding to felling trees (and involves getting stung and scratched!) But a quarter of tasks since January involved such work.
Next came ‘Path works’, including South Downs Way tasks, some 16% of tasks concerned such duties. Thirdly was ‘Survey’ work (12%) - covering a broad range of activities, from butterfly, bird or flower counts to access surveys etc. And last of the regular tasks was ‘Fencing’ (10%).
Of the more occasional tasks undertaken, it was fascinating to realise the remarkable variety of other duties pursued during the spring and summer. Some of us have been flint walling, whilst others have: repaired dew ponds, built boardwalks, made owl boxes, laid hedges, planted cowslips or split stakes etc. Although some, no doubt, have been cursing over more unpleasant jobs, like pulling out balsam and ragwort, or even picking up litter. But who said volunteering was easy?
Although we can select which tasks to work, most volunteers turn up regularly to pursue whatever task is provided. For what keeps us returning is the comradeship, the banter, and the sense of achievement working in a National Park.
So, our quick answer to: “what do volunteers actually do” is: we have fun!
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