Volunteers at the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, Southbourne, have committed 8,000 hours in 2014 to creating the most ‘wonderful place’. Internationally recognised for its wildlife and archaeology, the opening of the centre in February 2014 realised a 30 year aspiration to provide a high quality visitor interpretation centre at the site.
From gardeners to conservationists, retailers to guides, local volunteers aged 16 to 80-years-old have joined forces to protect and increase understanding of the popular local beauty spot and site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
Richard Hesketh, Volunteer Manager,said: “We have a core team of about 60 volunteers, who pledge their time on a regular basis to support the work at Hengistbury Head. It is a pleasure to work with such a friendly, supportive group of people, who genuinely seem to enjoy their volunteering.”
Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West England, said: “The excellent new centre has added a whole extra dimension for visitors to this popular natural attraction and has clearly paid dividends in engaging with people and inspiring growing numbers to offer their services as volunteers. Bournemouth is an important development area for HLF and we are delighted to hear that all age groups are giving their time to help sustain and conserve the local environment.”
The team are looking to grow as the site develops – with an active events programme, including a ‘Christmas Craft Fayre’ open daily throughout the festive season, more people are needed to sign up to help. There is no formal level of commitment asked for: there is an online, flexible rota and people can just give their time as and when they can – everyone is welcome. The volunteer programme is a great way to meet new people, gain work experience and confidence, join the guided walks for free, or come along to social events and make friends.
For further details about volunteering without any commitment, please contact Richard Hesketh, Volunteer Manager on 01202 451673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org