To help volunteers gain experience in conservation, the Welcome to Volunteering team recently took six of their volunteers to Witley Common for a day of conservation activities, giving them the chance to meet others who are part of the Welcome to Volunteering programme, learn new skills and share stories whilst being outside in the fresh air surrounded by spectacular scenery.
Volunteering at Witley Common
Witley Common is a National Trust park and provides opportunities for people to help with conservation. Alan Taylor, education officer at Witley Common has created a bespoke programme to do this and engage with people that wouldn’t ordinarily visit the site to develop new skills, whilst experiencing what it is like working outside and caring for the environment.
The Welcome to Volunteering team took part in this programme and first visited Witley Common in February. After a hugely successful day increasing the volunteers’ confidence, skills and wellbeing, the team wanted to give more volunteers the chance to experience this and revisited the site in November to take part in activities such as cutting down birch trees to help with the growth of heather, learning bush skills, making nettle soup, learning how to light fires safely and toasting marshmallows.
The volunteers found these activities to be extremely valuable and it gave them the opportunity to meet like-minded people and work together as part of a team outside in nature.
Welcome to Volunteering
The Welcome to Volunteering project is a Voluntary Action South West Surrey project that helps to support people with mental health problems take up volunteering roles.
For more information about how the programme is helping people to learn new skills, broaden their horizons and improve their mental health, please click here.