This blog has been written by guest writer Sammy Taylor, who is a 16 year old volunteer for us here on the learning team.  Sammy has just completed his GCSE's and is awaiting his results at the end of August.  He is hoping to go to college to undertake A'Level courses in English, History and Media Studies, with the ultimate goal of possibly embarking on a career in journalism.  He headed up his school newspaper and this is his first piece of writing outside of that.  He has really picked up on the essence of what the RSPB hopes to achieve with young people and highlights the importance of the learning teams on reserves across the country.

There is generally a stereotypical image of an RSPB volunteer which is far removed from a changing reality of inclusivity and diversity. One area often ignored by organisations striving to create a more diverse workforce is the characteristic of age. Transforming to include more young people has often been an issue for many charities in particular, such as the RSPB, but, gradually, the image is indeed changing. Having spent this summer volunteering in the role of a learning volunteer, there is clearly a new generation of budding conservationists, aspiring educators and knowledgeable experts flying through the ranks of a charity, let's not forget, initially established by a group of mainly young women.

It can only be hoped that in the coming years, even more passionate youths will become involved with the noble mission to protect wildlife. Not only does this improve the image of the RSPB itself, it is such an enlightening experience for the individual themselves. There is nothing else in this world that could simulate the emotion felt when a child’s face portrays a sense of awe at something you have introduced to them. Several of the pupils who visit Fairhaven Lake specifically, have never visited the seaside before. As a learning volunteer this gives a huge responsibility; a responsibility to introduce a fabulous new surrounding to an entire class, and a responsibility to encourage a further generation of nature lovers.

It is vital that RSPB sites become a space for everyone to enjoy, a space for the younger generations to find inspiration, to find solace and to find that sense of awe. It sounds quite obvious, but the best way to instil this image in the minds of a young audience is to place young role models in positions throughout the charity. Being a young volunteer, helping to educate those who are even younger, gives a sense of purpose beyond simply educating. Children who see teens or young adults wearing the distinctive blue uniform will be encouraged and inspired, and hopefully, gradually, the stereotypical image of the RSPB will have transformed completely.

Sammy

If you feel inspired or know someone else who may wish to consider volunteering for our team then please check out the following link https://bit.ly/learningvol 

If you would like to know more about the sessions we offer to schools then please check out our web page.

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