05 March 2021

Congratulations to our newly trained Youth Champion Volunteers and Support Volunteers! 

Nine of our experienced volunteers participated in training workshops to empower young volunteers and supported volunteers to contribute to our conservation education work at Chester Zoo. Training more volunteers to act as mentors, enables us to increase accessibility in our programme and reduce participation barriers. 

Volunteers joined three virtual workshops during lockdown with Volunteer Manager, Lindsay Marston and experienced volunteers Dot and Peter. Volunteers learned more about the role and how to develop their skills as mentors. The training helped them explore mental health, disability and autism awareness – learning about essential safeguarding and maintaining appropriate boundaries.

The newly trained volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow experienced volunteers once the zoo reopens, and will receive ongoing support and supervision from the Volunteer Manager and Volunteer Officer, Chris Ablett.

We understand that people can face barriers to volunteering due to physical or learning disabilities, and mental health conditions, however our Support Volunteers empower people to meet their full potential as volunteers, supporting them to connect with our community of staff, volunteers and visitors. Support Volunteers act as a mentor, encouraging volunteers to provide assistance or education to guests. 

Youth Champion Volunteers offer supervision and encouragement to Youth Volunteers or young people participating in the Duke of Edinburgh volunteering scheme. Youth Champion Volunteers support youth volunteers to engage with zoo visitors and make the most out of their volunteering experience. 

Volunteers support our education priorities to engage visitors, connect them with wildlife, and empower them to make pro-conservation choices. Volunteers are located around habitats in the zoo, helping visitors to have a great day out and feel part of our Chester Zoo community. We recognise volunteering to be mutually beneficial for volunteers; through volunteering, they gain valuable skills, meet new people and gain experience within a conservation charity. 

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