This #VolunteersWeek we want to say a HUGE thank you to all who have volunteered their time and expertise in support of RSPB NI’s vital conservation work. The RSPB could not function without volunteers, in fact 85% of our workforce are volunteers. That’s over 12,000 volunteers across the UK. Our volunteers do everything from pulling reeds in local reserves, to co-ordinating and supporting RSPB projects, campaigning for nature and leading local groups in our communities. Volunteers help every aspect of the RSPB’s strategy to save nature.

In Northern Ireland, this was managed by Colin Graham who recently embarked on his retirement but today we are welcoming Chris Pursell to the team. Read on to find out more from our new Volunteering Development Officer ... 

Guest blog by Chris Pursell

Hello! My name is Chris Pursell and I am the new Volunteering Development Officer (VDO) for Northern Ireland.

My role is to support volunteering programmes across RSPB NI’s reserves, conservation projects and communities, and ensuring that volunteers are well equipped and supported to achieve the RSPB’s mission to #savenature.

I come to the RSPB with a wealth of experience supporting various volunteering programmes and helping individuals to achieve their ambitions within the University and higher education sector. It’s my passion to invest in and inspire volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to personally thrive whilst supporting local, national and international issues that will provide a positive impact for everyone.

The last year has been particularly challenging for the volunteering sector as we navigate the pandemic. And yet, we have seen people step up to the plate and help others in need, at a time when they need them most, within the most difficult of circumstances.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has donated their time to the RSPB, or any other vitally important causes over the last year. That time is hugely valuable and is making a big difference.

RSPB NI, like so many other charities, is currently planning to reintroduce our traditional face-to-face volunteering roles over the coming months. We are ensuring that the return of our volunteering roles is safe for everybody, ensuring we are compliant with all the latest government Covid guidance as the safety of our volunteers is vital.

If you have a specific skill or experience, there is a way to use it to benefit the RSPB.

If you are passionate about saving nature and you would like to get involved, look out for upcoming volunteering roles on the RSPB website.

Alternatively, contact me on and let me know how you would like to get involved.

Thank you!