As a charity, volunteers provide vital support to the life of the zoo. Our award-winning volunteers contribute to our success by supporting the zoo’s education, scientific and conservation mission.
Volunteers are part of the Conservation Education and Engagement team, and play an essential role in supporting the zoo to achieve our Conservation Masterplan goals.
We engage with up to 250 AMAZING volunteers EVERY YEAR through various roles and programmes. They provide thousands of unpaid hours and a wealth of skills and experience to support our work.
Visitor Engagement Volunteers
Our Visitor Engagement Volunteers support in giving our visitors a world-class day out, providing orientation support, excellent customer service and playful interactions with younger visitors. They’re positioned at habitats to help visitors learn about zoo species and the conservation work we do to protect them.
Volunteers engage with visitors about our key conservation campaigns and ways in which they can make a positive difference to wildlife through actions such as choosing sustainable palm oil products in their shopping. Visitor Engagement Volunteers can use a variety of our education resources to engage with visitors, such as tiger claws, smell pots and reticulated python skins!
Every year, we deliver two volunteering schemes for young people to complete the volunteering element of their bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. They participate in masterclasses and training to support them in engaging with zoo guests and creating conservation campaigns to benefit their peers or our learning programmes.
We continually develop tailor-made volunteering schemes for youth organisations and groups. And provide short-term volunteering and learning experiences for young people aged 16-18. Our opportunities are co-designed with the programme participants or referring youth organisations.
Youth Champion Volunteers
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.
We understand that people can face barriers to volunteering due to physical or learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Support Volunteers empower people to meet their full potential as volunteers, helping them to connect with our community of staff, volunteers and visitors. Support Volunteers act as a mentor, encouraging other volunteers to provide assistance or education to guests.
Our education programme provides schools with the opportunity to combine their zoo visit with inspiring classroom workshops. Education Volunteers guide school groups from the zoo entrance to our classrooms and help learners understand the workshops, artefacts and education resources. Our conservation education team also deliver conservation workshops to schools across the North West. Education Volunteers work closely with the team to provide exciting and informative learning experiences for young people.
We offer volunteers a variety of ways to contribute their skills to Chester Zoo’s work in the comfort of their own homes. Micro-volunteering activities are usually short-term activities such as writing subtitles for education resources, fact-checking resources or participating in research. Some volunteers gain micro-volunteering hours by building new habitats for birds and hedgehogs, or monitoring and recording local wildlife.
Micro-volunteering offers a sustainable way for volunteers to contribute to our mission as it reduces the need to travel to the zoo to volunteer. Participate in our latest micro-volunteering opportunity, Hedgehog Watch!
Volunteering with Children and Young People
Volunteers work closely with our Zoo Rangers to deliver fun and engaging workshops, clubs and playful experiences for children and young people. Let’s work together to help our youngest generations understand wildlife through play, craft and educational activities in the zoo at our beautiful nature reserve, or enchanting woodlands!
Nature Reserve Volunteers
Chester Zoo’s nature reserve is a designated wildlife site, home to a variety of local wildlife. Volunteers support the field programmes team to protect birds at the reserve by looking after the bird feeders and monitoring visiting wildlife.
Current Volunteering Opportunities
We advertise all our volunteering opportunities and open days on our volunteer recruitment page when available.
We don’t offer any animal section volunteer roles, and volunteering cannot be used as an industrial placement.
Learn about our work experience, placements and internships.
Join our campaigns
We are all conservationists! Our campaigns give you the chance make a real difference to wildlife. Together we can make positive changes to save the planet!
Be inspired by others and let us know how you have taken action for wildlife from home or in your community, visit our Community Hub.
Would you like to get involved in an EXCITING Citizen Science project all about our LOCAL garden wildlife?
We’re looking for volunteers to participate in Chester Zoo’s Hedgehog Watch! Visit Hedgehog Watch for more information on how you can take part.
Become a Corporate Partner
Join our community of like-minded organisations making a difference for endangered species! Why not take on an team fundraising challenge or be a ticket agent for Chester Zoo?!
What else can I do to help?
By becoming a member with Chester Zoo, you are helping us to continue with our VITAL conservation work to protect our planet’s wildlife. There are so many benefits to becoming a zoo member, from FREE entry to shop DISCOUNTS. Together we can make a HUGE difference.