Volunteering at Chester Zoo: Ian's Story
We're celebrating National Volunteer Week with some backstage info from some of our zoo volunteers!
I've lived in Chester my whole life and have had a membership for two years now. I only live about 10 minutes away from the zoo, so it's great to just be able to come over for a couple of hours or a whole day. It was my brother that told me that the zoo was looking for volunteers, as it was something I originally wasn't pursuing, having not worked for a number of years due to health reasons. I rang up and fortunately, there was one space left on the upcoming open day!
Training was good fun and it was nice getting to know new people and learning how to navigate my way around the zoo. My first shift, which was during the Easter Holidays, was on Islands, mostly spent stopping visitors trying to go in the exit for Monsoon Forest! Since then, as I do three hours a day, two days a week, I've now done each volunteer area at least once, with roaming on Islands being my favourite, due to it being busy with visitors wanting to find the tigers.
A volunteer engaging with visitors at the zoo.
I really enjoy volunteering at Chester Zoo. Everyone I've met has been so friendly and welcoming and it feels like I've been here forever, rather than just a couple of months! I now have some much needed structure to my days and life in general, and people that know me have mentioned how much happier I seem. Probably because I am!
If you're looking for something to do in your spare time, Chester Zoo is it!
Interested in becoming a volunteer at the zoo? Find out more here.