02/06/2017 in RZSS
It’s Volunteers’ Week and the theme for 2017 is ‘You Make the Difference’ - a brilliantly appropriate theme for us to celebrate here at RZSS as our volunteers are vital to our work. We currently have over 150 volunteers and in 2016 they donated an incredible 12,000 hours of their time – that’s nearly 500 days! They provide us with opportunities to do so many things that we, quite simply, couldn’t without them.
If you have visited Edinburgh Zoo, then it is very likely you have met one of our volunteers. Our Living Collections Volunteers can be found in our walkthrough enclosures keeping an eye on the animals while telling visitors fascinating facts about them. They are also on hand to show visitors intriguing items from our global conservation work on our touch tables and help raise vital funds to support RZSS projects through brass rubbing and badge-making activities.
Our Events Volunteers provide crucial support to make our events run smoothly and ensure all the attendees have a great time, from helping to explain science activities during the Science Festival to overseeing carnival games during Zoo Nights.
Many of our volunteers are passionate about education. Our Lesson Assistant Volunteers help our Education Officers prepare for the many school groups that visit Edinburgh Zoo, while our Wild about Scotland Volunteers head out across Scotland on the Wild about Scotland bus to inspire a love of Scotland’s native species like beavers and wildcats. Last year a volunteer travelled all the way to Shetland with the Wild about Scotland team!
Some of our volunteers enjoy rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. Our Gardens Volunteers can be seen out and about with the gardens team, tending to our plant collection and even clearing mud from the bottom of our ponds. The Physic Garden at the zoo is a testament to the skills and efforts of our volunteers. This historic garden was brought back to life last year by a pair of dedicated volunteers and can now be enjoyed once more by our visitors.
Last, but by no means least, we have our office based volunteers. Membership Volunteers contribute to keeping our databases up to date, ensuring our members and adopters receive their newsletters and events invitations. The Archive Volunteers are facilitating the cataloguing of important images from RZSS history, while PR Volunteers help us keep track of news stories.
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park also benefits from volunteer support. A small team of volunteers assist with a range of tasks helping to make the park look it’s best. We look forward to expanding volunteering at the wildlife park in the future, creating new roles as the park develops.
As the Volunteer Coordinator at RZSS, I have the privilege of working alongside our diverse, dedicated and inspiring volunteers. On behalf of everyone at RZSS I would like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers – you really do make the difference.
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering for RZSS please look on our webpage: http://www.rzss.org.uk/volunteers/
RZSS Volunteer Coordinator