Before the pandemic I really appreciated being offered training. The Wildlife Champion course was excellent. It helped me become a more informed volunteer which in turn enhanced my engagement with visitors.
During the pandemic the enforced restrictions on our daily lives meant focusing on wildlife closer to home. I built a bug hotel and created a bird bath from an old sink. Solitary bees have taken up residence in the bamboo tubes and the bird bath was much-used by thirsty birds and insects.
I missed the regularity of volunteering and contact with colleagues but appreciated the opportunity of being able to keep in touch with our centre manager by e-mail which I did on several occasions, usually enclosing a photo of my latest amphibian or insect find!
It was good to return to volunteering and to be meeting up with colleagues again. We are only doing outdoor activities at the moment which means we are at the mercy of our wonderful weather but it's a start!
Returning to volunteering has meant following all the Covid safety rules and the 'hands,face,space' mantra that we all follow.
I think many of us have returned to volunteering with newly acquired lockdown media skills and this might be an opportunity to re-assess the way we do things. Now that we are beginning to return to some degree of normality, we need to think of how to encourage people back to our centres and make them the busy, informative and welcoming places they used to be!