Our Edinburgh Local Group Leader shares what they love about volunteering in our fourth blog celebrating volunteer’s week and the amazing work our volunteers do.

Volunteers Week: I Am Now!

It’s got to be said, “RSPB are really good at providing volunteer opportunities.”

If you like getting your hands dirty - then they can oblige with outdoor opportunities doing just that. If you would prefer to carry out some administrative task in an office environment - then a suitable task may be available for you also.

In the decades that I have been a member of RSPB Scotland I have seen countless volunteers carrying out tasks in a professional manner and all to the benefit of our favourite charity.

Brian, Edinburgh Local group leader

When I retired from work I missed dealing with the public and, as I had always loved to enthuse people (or at least try to!) with the wonders of wildlife, part of my voluntary work has revolved around leading walks for the RSPB Edinburgh Local Group – of which I’m currently the leader. Getting people involved with nature is my thing!

Joining a Local Group is a great way to get involved with volunteering as you can start by ‘working’ alongside your fellow members - people you will have already met on outdoor walks or indoor talks. As a support group for RSPB Scotland, Local Groups assist staff at various events. Here you can use your previous skills or learn new ones to help create an interesting and fun event.

I try to help out at as many events as possible, volunteering a day here or a day there; the range of events is wide and varied but they all provide an opportunity to show the RSPB and the RSPB Edinburgh Local Group in a good light - and to have a great day. But ultimately, helping nature survive in these trying times.

Three small words said by a 10-year-old boy, at my last volunteering event, gave me such a buzz and exemplifies why I keep volunteering.

It was an outdoor event where a RSPB Scotland staff member was ‘flying the flag’ for the RSPB at a stall and signing up new members. Whilst that is a job for the professionals there is plenty of scope for a volunteer to explain aspects of the display to members of the public – and that’s what I was doing.

When a woman started to ask questions about taking out a family membership of the RSPB, her son found himself at a loose end. Next to our stall was a huge rhododendron bush with its flowers covered in bumble bees. I grabbed the bee guide that formed part of the display and spent the next 5 minutes helping the boy identify 3 different bumble bee species – including tree bumble bee.

He was so pleased that he just had to tell his mother whereupon she said, “I didn’t know you were interested in bees.”

He replied, “I am now!”

Find out more about Local Groups here