To celebrate Volunteers’ Week we are sharing some of our lovely volunteers’ stories,
First up is Elysia, one of our newest volunteers! She’s been a great addition to the volunteering team and says that “Volunteering with the Kent High Weald Partnership means I get to help conserve some of Kent’s great nature sites and find some hidden gems. I love the chance to get outdoors for the day and meet new people.”
Thanks for your help and hard work Elysia!
Our second volunteer is Pierre who says he joined us to connect with nature and like minded people.
“I had just retired and was introduced by some of my close friends who were already working as volunteers with the partnership.
I’ve always been interested in the countryside and this seemed an ideal way of getting to know more about our surroundings and the importance of looking after it.
I really enjoy the camaraderie of my colleagues and the variety of both the venues and the different skills we learn. As there is no requirement to attend every week it makes it much easier to fit in with my other commitments. There is a great sense of teamwork among the volunteers and a feeling of satisfaction that we are all doing our bit to help maintain the neighbouring countryside”
Thanks for all your hard work Pierre!
Our third volunteer is Paul, who has been with us a little over a year. Here’s what he has to say
“I joined KHWP when I retired because three of my close friends were already members. They where always talking about the fun things they were involved in and the skills they were learning. I was also attracted to the concept of giving something back, by investing in the many and various community projects that KHWP get involved with.
Needless to say I have never been disappointed. I have made many new friends and reconnected with lots of old friends from my school days in the town that I’d lost touch with. The wide range of practical skills we are taught are truly inspirational and valuable as life enhancements. Where else could you get to know how to construct woodland boardwalks, install post and rail fences and gates on a heathland area that is to be returned to it’s original usage with cattle controlling the natural flora and fauna.
We look after several local parks and spend the winter months returning our local common land to natural woodland habitats, getting rid of the invasive laurel and holly. Our latest project is to protect from bank erosion a small wooded island in one of our local recreational park areas, necessitating waders, chestnut stakes and willow faggots.
Great fun will be had by all as usual.”
Thanks for your hard work Paul!
Today is James, who has been an enthusiastic and valuable member of the squad for a few years now, getting stuck in to many of the different tasks we have run over the years!
“I have volunteered with the Kent High Weald Partnership for several years. They are a great group of people and the work is interesting and varied. We work at various places in the Tunbridge Wells region – generally on a Wednesday or Thursday and there are different types of work to suit almost everyone, whether helping to build benches and boardwalks, digging, planting, clearing undergrowth or making the tea and coffee. I enjoy the company and getting to visit the different worksites as well as the opportunity to learn new skills and to help to maintain our local environment.”
Thanks for your hard work James!
Last, but by no means least is Colin, one of our longest serving volunteers, he’s been with us at our many different sights with many members of staff over the years. He arrives eager to get on with the job in hand and has always been dependable!
“After several years volunteering with KHWP I still enjoy tackling the various work we undertake.
There are always some new skills to learn.
For me it is an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and engage in much needed exercise. I particularly enjoy the construction type activities, but whatever we do it is giving something to the community for them to enjoy.
As a group we work well together and have a good chat while we work and especially at lunch time. Why not come and join us for one of our task days.”
Thanks for your hard work Colin!
KHWP Volunteer Field Officer –
Sam, a student in Countryside Management at Hadlow College, has shared with us his thoughts on volunteering with us as a student:
“I enjoy volunteering with KHWP as it compliments my degree (units like: estate skills, ecology, habitat management, etc.) and strengthens my practical ability, improves my communication skills and helps supply me with relevant experience for future jobs. I like being outdoors in general too, and volunteering helps maintain a healthy physical and mental wellbeing.”