Volunteering your time and talents to help others, whether it be an individual, organisation or company is both hugely rewarding for the volunteer and greatly appreciated by the recipient. In this day and age the gift of time is increasingly precious, and here at the RSPB we value each and every one of our 12’000 volunteers, without whom our crucial conservation work would be that much more difficult/nigh on impossible.

Whilst the benefits of volunteering are numerous, both for the volunteer and their recipient, often people can become overwhelmed or confused about the number of choices and different types of volunteering role available. The RSPB has several different types of volunteering, each one offering a slightly different volunteering experience, and differing in time committed, task undertaken and geographical location

Here’s a quick run-down of the different types of volunteering offered here at the RSPB:

 Our regular volunteering roles offer a wide variety of different activities, from clearing scrubland or greeting visitors on reserves, to helping in our cafes or shops, to more office-based, administerial roles and can require anywhere from a few hours per week to a few days a month. These are the most common type of roles and, depending on your location can generally be suited to work around your other commitments, should you have any. 

For those looking at a more “full-on” experience, we run a range of Volunteering Internships aimed at training, mentoring and supporting those looking towards a career in conservation. Popular with students or those looking for a change of career, our Internships aren’t for the fainthearted, often requiring a commitment of 3-5 days per week over a 3,6,9 or even a 12 month period! The RSPB gains the time and input whilst in return gives great experience, specialist training and one to one mentoring aimed at those moving towards a conservation career.

Often linked to our Internships, our Residential Volunteering scheme offers participants the chance to exchange their time and hard work for rent-free stay in special accommodation on one of our reserves. Great for gaining experience for your CV and learning valuable conservation techniques and practices, or simply if you want to get away and escape the stresses of modern life, our Residential Volunteering roles offer a unique experience to live, work and breathe the life on one of our stunning reserves. And you’ll get to meet like-minded people too, all for the cost of a little hard work and your food expenses!

If you want to offer something to the RSPB, but just don’t have the spare time, we also offers a range of Micro Volunteering opportunities if you’ve got less than an hour – most of which require little more than a simple gesture, signature or donation to participate in, anything from simple surveys like Big Garden Birdwatch to following one or more of our social-media channels. Perfect if you have a strong desire to support the RSPB but little spare time to commit to more time-intensive projects. 

For those with a touch of wanderlust, we also offer volunteering opportunities abroad. Our many international conservation projects and partners often require volunteers to work alongside RSPB staff and local workers/volunteers in a number of different roles, from bird monitoring in Asia to installing artificial nests in Bulgaria - a great option if you’re looking for a career in international conservation.

And finally, for businesses looking for corporate opportunities or away-days, we have a range available at a number of our different reserves. Promoting team-bonding, morale, confidence and a whole host of other benefits for your workforce (as well as the great benefit to the RSPB!) our Corporate Volunteering is sure to offer something local to your business, just send your enquiries to Corporate.Partnerships@rspb.org.uk to find out more.

Hopefully this gives you a good run-down of the types, breadth and variety of volunteering opportunities here at the RSPB. Finding out and understanding what volunteering role is right for you is half the battle, but if you still can’t decide and would like some further assistance, out friendly volunteering team are here to answer any questions you may have, and can help you find out which role(s) would suit you best. See the full range of volunteering opportunities on our website at https://rspb.org.uk/volunteering or contact the Volunteering team via email on volunteers@rspb.org.uk or phone reception on 01767 680551 and they will put you through to the appropriate member of staff