Figures released by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust show that, for the 12 months from November 2008 to October 2009, volunteers clocked up an impressive 25,540 hours.
That’s over 1,000 days, 152 weeks or nearly three years!
The trust runs Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall. Between them the three sites have 174 volunteers.
In addition, volunteers at Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts helped raise £89,309 for the charity. Newquay Zoo volunteers don’t do any fundraising.
The charity has a range of volunteer tasks, from administration and assisting with events to helping visitors and making badges to sell to raise funds. Stephanie Robey, who looks after the volunteers at Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts,told the Devon Week:
“We logged more volunteer hours than ever before last year, but we are always looking to recruit suitable new people. They can be young or old.
“Young people have a lot of energy and volunteering can help their CVs. Older people tend to have more time, a sense of commitment and a lifetime of skills to draw on. We need people who are reliable, confident, out-going and who have an interest in conservation, the environment and animals.”
Retired HGV driver Ron Grimes, from Paignton, began volunteering last year along with his wife Joan, said: “I wish I’d started this sooner – it’s the best thing I have ever done! Everyone is so friendly.”
(from a press release)