To celebrate Red Squirrel Appreciation Day (21st Jan), Wight Squirrel Project is launching a volunteer recruitment drive which will lead to training workshops once the right people are signed on. The charity is wholly run by volunteers and would not exist without them. If you appreciate red squirrels and the work we do, please join us.
Also from January 21st, a new opportunity for members of the general public to become citizen scientists will be available. If you walk regularly and would like to contribute to data collection, you can download a spreadsheet from the website, so all you have to do is fill it in and return the spreadsheet monthly, quarterly or annually depending on how successful your squirrel spotting is. This is volunteering at its easiest and most convenient to you.
Project Manager, Helen Butler MBE said ‘It is essential to recruit reliable volunteers to keep red squirrel conservation going. Volunteer opportunities are wide ranging and training workshops are planned once we have the right recruits. We are so lucky having red squirrels on the Isle of Wight and must ensure we keep them’.
Helen Butler MBE
Tel: 01983 611003
WIGHT SQUIRREL PROJECT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
We need people who have a little time to spare and are reliable and friendly. Some posts are for team members and involve speaking to members of the public, whilst other posts may be undertaken without leaving home. References are required. Workshop dates for training will be arranged when successful volunteers are selected.
Welfare help with sick and injured squirrels
This is not for the faint-hearted or those who see red squirrels as ‘cuddly’ animals, as squirrels often die and may be covered in fleas and/or maggots. Not a good selling point but it’s best to be honest! A quiet household with a room away from children, cats and dogs is essential. An outdoor space is preferable and applicants will need to drive to pick up animals. Recovering squirrels are released in accordance with the law. Experience with treating animals is an advantage and you will work as part of a team. This post may very occasionally involve feeding every 3-4 hours, including through the night. Training is given and medicines supplied. Vet bills are paid by Wight Squirrel Project.
Promoting Wight Squirrel Project
This may be via social media or at shows. The aim is to have a team of people willing to go to shows to represent the charity. There will be team meetings to decide what shows to go to and strategies for promoting WSP through social media. Applicants must be happy to work with others. A good knowledge of how social media works and some ideas re marketing is essential in at least one team volunteer
There are three experts in Excel and analysis to head this group of volunteers. New recruits will need to have a working knowledge of Excel and data input to work in the team. To make the work easier, it is proposed that one person inputs for each database and one of the experts pulls it all together. This will be undertaken at your home and should not take up much time if enough people are recruited. A new plan for data collation is a work in progress at the moment.
Bi-annual woodland monitoring leader
Bi-annual monitoring is a science based method of monitoring woodland. There are volunteers who have been doing this for 20 years. You can either input their data into a spreadsheet yourself, or one of the data team could do take on this task. After training themselves, the successful applicant will recruit and train new volunteers.
Planning applications will sometimes impinge on woodland and corridors, so WSP will write to planning. Training will be given but good letter writing skills and ability to upload to IWC Planning website are essential. If the applicant is experienced enough and willing to undertake site visits, then that is a bonus.
To run Teemill online shop
The Teemill online shop is set up but needs someone to promote it using their advertising platform. There are t-shirt designs already set up but knowing how to market and what will sell are desirable skills. Red squirrel pictures can be provided. This is a post the successful applicant can run from home.