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Volunteer fair promises opportunities for all

Volunteer fair promises opportunities for all

PUBLISHED ON: 5 DECEMBER 2018

Details of the New Forest’s number one event for volunteering opportunities have been announced to mark International Volunteer Day.

The New Forest National Park Volunteer Fair returns in January, bigger and better than ever. The event is organised by the New Forest National Park Authority and brings together dozens of local groups to help budding volunteers find their perfect role.

Almost 600 attended last year and hundreds of people are again expected to visit the free fair on Sunday 27 January. Open from 10.30am to 4pm at Lyndhurst Community Centre, the fair showcases opportunities from groups including Pondhead Conservation Trust, Hampshire Swifts and Oakhaven Hospice Trust and more than 30 others.

Volunteer roles on offer at the fair include recording wildlife, inspiring youngsters, restoring landscapes and helping some of society’s most vulnerable.

As well as helping local communities and the environment, volunteering is also good for volunteers, helping you find friends, reach out to the community, improve your mental and physical wellbeing and even advance your career.

College student Hannah Makin from Brockenhurst began volunteering in 2018. She said: ‘For my volunteering placement I was offered a rare experience – travelling to the British Museum Store Rooms in London to take photos of Roman pottery found in the New Forest over 100 years ago.

‘I really enjoyed finding out about these rare objects. I was fascinated at how they have survived for so many years in such good condition and largely intact. And so I am now considering further education in this field and volunteering opportunities in the National Park.’

A photo of Hannah Makin at the British Museum

Jim Mitchell, fair organiser and New Forest National Park Authority Interpretation and Outreach Manager said: ‘Volunteering is a great way to help look after the Forest and take part in positive action to help people and wildlife. 2019 is the 70th anniversary of National Parks in the UK and has been designated a national ‘Year of Green Action’ to celebrate. The volunteer fair allows you to browse dozens of local groups all in one place, on one day, to find an opportunity that works for you.’

To find out more about the New Forest National Park Volunteer Fair visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/volunteerfair

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The organisations signed up for the New Forest National Park Volunteer Fair so far are:

  • Blackwater Conservation Group
  • Butterfly Conservation
  • Christchurch and East Dorset Countryside Team
  • Citizens Advice New Forest
  • Countryside Education Trust
  • Eling Expereince
  • Exbury Gardens
  • Forestry Commission
  • Friends of Lepe Country Park
  • Friends of New Forest Airfields
  • Friends of the New Forest (New Forest Association)
  • Green Island Holiday Trust
  • Hampshire Search and Rescue
  • Hampshire Swifts
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
  • Hampshire County Council Countryside Service
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • hArt
  • Honeypot
  • Hythe Pier Heritage Association
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre
  • Lyndhurst and District Community Responders
  • Milford Conservation Volunteers
  • Minstead Trust
  • National Trust
  • New Forest Area Conservation Volunteers
  • New Forest Heritage Centre
  • New Forest Community First
  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • New Forest Nightstop
  • New Forest Mencap
  • Oakhaven Hospice Trust
  • Pedall Inclusive Cycling
  • Pondhead Conservation Trust
  • Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society
  • Solent Rescue
  • SS Shieldhall
  • Stroke Association
  • Warren Copse and Holbury Manor Conservation Group
  • Woodlander Hoburne Bashley
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