(Above) Dorset Wildlife Trust recieves a warm welcome at Siemens Poole HQ.
Our habitat heroes – a report from Sally your Corporate Development Officer
How to be a Super Volunteer
Steve Claxton embarked on his career at Barclays in 2000 and first started volunteering for Dorset Wildlife Trust on the Barclays ‘make a difference day’s’ in 2002. Very early on, at a big corporate volunteering event on Brownsea, back in the days of the massive Rhododendron clearances, Steve met Steve Davis, Head of Volunteering for the Trust and a conversation ensued that resulted in his long-term collaboration with the Trust. To date Steve has organised more than 50 corporate volunteer days!
When asked, what really inspires the corporate volunteers, he answered ‘it is getting out and helping to protect what you can see from your desk’ i.e. Brownsea and Upton Heath. That may be true, but Steve has gone further afield, helping conserve stream habitats up in the Dorset hills, build dormouse houses for distribution across the county and he’s also attracted Barclays staff to volunteer tasks in Dorset from as far afield as the Midlands.
So, what’s the secret to Steve’s volunteering success? ‘Employees return energised and motivated. Everyone always really enjoys it’. Steve enjoys it so much that he now organises volunteer groups in his spare time. Steve uses the Barclays intranet site to publicise volunteering events and he shares good news stories and photos from the volunteering events to get everyone talking about the fun they’ve had taking part in local nature conservation.
Volunteering is important to Barclays, who are keen for staff to share their expertise and skills with the local community, they also support Dorset Wildlife Trust trainees with CV writing and interview skills. Helping them to secure employment at the end of their traineeship with the Trust. Steve has by now, completed pretty much the whole range of corporate volunteer conservation tasks you can think of. His favourite? Re-establishing the Tern islands in the Brownsea lagoon each February – ‘It’s physically challenging, it’s outdoors and in the fresh air and you’re directly impacting the success of a wildlife population.’
Thank you Steve! For your huge contribution and giving us this interview. It really was great to listen to you talk about your corporate volunteering through Barclays, it clearly means a lot to you, as it does to us at Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Donated by you
A huge thank you to our corporate partners Greenwood Grange, Dorset Golf and Country Club, Capreolus Fine Food and Conker Spirit who donated to our raffle in 2017. It was the first time our local business partners have done this and we’re looking to build on the success in 2018. With prizes kindly donated by Knoll House Hotel, The John Lewis Partnership, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Conker Spirit, some of the best Dorset has to offer!
Offset single use plastic!
Southern Cooperative continue to invest in the work of Dorset Wildlife Trust through offsetting the damage from single use plastic by donating a further £3,000 from the sale of their 5p carrier bags. These funds are used to help us develop community based activities across our educational centres, and benefited wildlife and communities such as Lorton Meadows reserve in Weymouth and at our Chesil centre and Portland reserves.
Neal’s Yard Remedies turning the tide on plastic
Last summer Neal’s Yard Remedies joined forces with Dorset Wildlife Trust at Kimmeridge for a volunteer Beach Clean day collecting a whopping 28kgs of litter from the shore in just 2 hours. A day which helped to inspire the team to adopt our reusable bottle, to promote the fact they are the first high street chain to sign up to the City to Sea Refill Campaign rolling out free water refill stations nationally.
They have also become a Wildlife Partner demonstrating their commitment to protect wildlife with us. We look forward to seeing the team again soon for another inspiring volunteer day!