Working with the environment or animals

Have you got green fingers? Do you love getting out into the open spaces in your community but wish they could be better? Or a natural connection with our four legged or winged friends? This could be the volunteering category for you!

The possibilities are endless and you should develop a programme which is interesting, relevant to you and will make a difference to the people you’re helping. Along the way you’ll have fun, make friends, learn new skills – or even share your own skills with others!

You should find a local charity or voluntary group whose project you can join, or a national charity with a local project. If you can’t find one, you could set up your own team volunteering opportunity. Don’t forget, working in a commercial organisation, for example, a vets, won’t count, but a voluntary one, for example PDSA or Blue Cross, would be great!

Here are just a few ideas of the sort of things you could do to get you started:

Preserving waterways

  • Help arrange a series of litter picks at a local lake, canal or river
  • Work with  your local Wildlife Wetland Trust to monitor mammals
  • Repair a canal with a local conservation group

Urban conservation

  • Turn a piece of wasteland into a vegetable allotment for your local community
  • Work in a team to clear graffiti from a local park
  • Teach primary school children about recycling or set up a recycling project in your community

Beach and coastline

  • Work for the RNLI as a lifeguard at the beach
  • Raise awareness at school of coastal erosion
  • Clean up a section of beach with friends

Animal welfare

  • Do dog walking or cat grooming for a local animal shelter
  • Assist with guided walks at your local RSPB nature reserve
  • Groom and walk donkeys at a local sanctuary

Zoo/farm/nature reserve

  • Help muck out at a not-for-profit stables
  • Design and produce a guide to local nature reserves for your community, pointing out accessible routes
  • Work at a community farm teaching

Remember, these are just a few ideas.  Chat to your Leader, family, friends and people who’ve already achieved an Award to see what they’ve done and what opportunities are available in your local area.

Don’t forget to check with your Leader that what you choose to do meets the DofE’s requirements for this section and your level.

Volunteering categories

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