Across Scotland we have around 250 amazing community fundraising volunteers, who look after pin badge boxes all across the country to raise money so we can continue our work to protect wildlife. To say that the last few years have been challenging is an understatement, but our volunteers have inspired us with their dedication and enthusiasm for fundraising. Here, one of our wonderful volunteers, Marion, takes us through what it’s like being a volunteer, and the creative new way she is managing her pin badge boxes.  

Hi, I’m Marion and I work with young children. I decided to start volunteering with the RSPB Scotland pin badge boxes because I care about nature and after the scheme had been explained, I realised it was something I could easily do. Choosing my venues was (and still is), one of the ‘highs’ as well as collecting the money, refilling the box and being able to ‘spend’ the points for more badges.

A box of RSPB pin badges in a field. Each is a different species and comes on a unique backing card.

How our standard pin badge boxes look...

During lockdown I felt I wanted to change my RSPB pin badge boxes to resonate with what was happening. This led to creating a cardboard display board, folded at the bottom and fixed into the base with PVA glue and covered with a piece of blue felt.

I buy Velcro (online is the best value) and use just a small piece on the back of each badge card so they can hang down in lines across the board. This allows the customer to view with ease, choose and purchase without having to rake through them all. I take a large plastic box around with me, full of ‘ready to go’ velcro badges and happily refill the display boards making them as eye catching as I can, to attract people to buy them. Shop keepers seem to like it too.

Marion's pin badge box, with clever velcro display at the top where badges can be seen more easily.

Marion's excellent velcro box! The badges are much easier to see!

I was asked which was my favourite bird, animal or plant and have come to the conclusion it’s the heron. There’s one that lives in the burn nearby and seeing him flying up or down the water always gives me great joy. Further to that, by chance I once saw him catch a fish standing beside the rapids then swallow it whole, that was a really treasured sighting.

Perhaps you might be inspired to start volunteering for RSPB Scotland. Give it a go, it’s certainly worth it!

If you’re inspired by Marion’s story and would like to join the team of community fundraising volunteers please visit  https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering-fundraising/fundraise/become-a-pin-badge-volunteer-fundraiser/ , we’d love to have you join the team!

If you'd like to get your very own pin badges to represent your favourite species, there are boxes in shops, cafes and more all over Scotland, they are also available online here!

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