This week we’re celebrating the incredible work our volunteers do. In this blog, RSPB Scotland’s Joanne Simpson and Bethan Jones share how our amazing science communicator volunteers have been inspiring students as part of a partnership with the National Union of Students (NUS).

Volunteers Week: Volunteers inspiring students

RSPB Scotland is a scientific organisation and communicating science to non-experts can sometimes be tricky. That’s where Science Communicators come in!

Here in Edinburgh we have a small yet hugely dedicated team of Science Communicators whose role involves engaging with the wider public on scientific issues. These volunteers spend time researching topics and coming up with creative ways of engaging with a range of audiences to spread their knowledge to more and more people. Their hard work, wealth of knowledge and engaging manner all contributes to spreading the word about our mission to save nature.

Science Communicators support us at a number of events including family and community fun days, Edinburgh Science Festival and, recently, a brand-new project called Skills for Good.

Skills for Good

Skills for Good is a pilot project investigating how we can work in partnership with NUS (National Union of Students) to inspire and empower students to make a positive impact for a sustainable future.

We launched the programme in November 2018, with the help of our Science Communicator Volunteers.  The team of volunteers helped design 2 afternoon workshops with the aim to engage students in a range of environmental topics.  They helped to demystify some of the ways we can all get involved in shaping a sustainable future.

Their own perspectives, work experiences, and interests really helped bring these topics to life, and demonstrated that involvement in sustainability is broad and exciting.  

When asked about what the volunteers enjoyed about volunteering as science communicators they listed a number of different aspects of the role such as meeting new people, encouraging people’s passion for nature, and helping people learn something new. Some of the feedback we received included:

“Meeting young people with an excitement for nature and being able to fuel that fire with solid info.”

“Providing encouragement and advice to people who want to help nature but feel unsure how they can have an impact.”

“Meeting new people.”

“The variety of conversations people are interested in.”

RSPB Scotland volunteers are part of a diverse and vibrant movement of people not only shaping how we deliver work like our Skills for Good project, but also spreading their enthusiasm and knowledge to help build momentum for saving nature. We are so thankful to have their help!

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