Many apologies to all the people who have contacted us about volunteering over the last year. We are getting back to working normally, but with such a backlog of issues to deal with, we have reluctantly decided to hold off taking on new volunteers.
Volunteers are the life-blood of CROWS, but being a small organisation with no paid staff, we have to make sure that new people get a good introduction to CROWS and the work.
We have revamped the way we recruit new volunteers and give them experience of the work we do. We hope to have completed this by early November and hope to start recruitment again at New Year 2022.
Volunteering with CROWS – what’s involved?
We run 3-4 work parties a week and each month people sign up for which ones they want to join. Most people do one session a week either on regular or different days. For some people, this pattern varies during school holidays and of course we all go away on holiday!
Some people offer to help us by doing one off sessions or very occasional work. Unfortunately, we can’t really work in this way, partly to deal with training but also there are some insurance issues.
What are we looking for in a new volunteer?
No special skills are required as we provide good training. People need to be relatively fit as some work sites can be a long way from vehicle access and a walk to the site is needed. This often involves walking uphill carrying tools and materials. You don’t have to be super strong, but the work certainly develops upper body strength.
We go out in most weathers, so it helps if you enjoy working outside and are not averse to a bit of wet and mud!
We make most of our arrangements by email or online, so volunteers need to have access to a computer. We use our own cars to transport volunteers, tools and materials, but we can always arrange a lift if needed.
What’s in it for you?
- You will have a lot of fun!
- You will meet a bunch of friendly like-minded people.
- You will discover new paths you may not have seen before.
- It will keep you fit (nicer than working out at the gym).
- You will learn lots of skills including the art of ditch digging, stile building, cutting back vegetation and costing jobs.
- You will feel great when you see the instant results of your work.
What happens when I start?
After an initial discussion at the depot, we organise four taster work parties where you are paired up with buddies who will make sure you know what to do, help you learn some of the techniques involved, and make sure you understand safety issues.
After the four sessions, if you are happy to continue, we move on to induction:
- Getting you on to the CROWS IT systems
- Showing you some of the learning materials to learn more about the work, Health and safety and how to find your way around the organisation.
- Introducing you to our depot and resources
It takes a while to feel confident in all areas of work, so we do try and make sure there continues to be someone to ask how to do things.
After about 3 months
We hope you will be well up to speed with the way we work and the different kinds of jobs we do. At this stage will have attending meetings and will have better understanding how the organisation works. New volunteers bring many skills that can contribute to helping us run the organisation, so we explore how you can be involved in this.