Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in our volunteering survey in February and share your views on your experience of volunteering at the Woodland Trust.
From the results, it's apparent that the majority of volunteers enjoy their volunteer experience with us. Volunteering is most often described as enjoyable and as it allows volunteers to make a difference to nature and the environment.
Volunteers, in general, were very proactive; they were happy to learn new skills and increase their knowledge and wanted to do more to help the Woodland Trust which, in turn, it was felt would help to save the Trust money.
91% questioned stated they would recommend volunteering with the Trust to others and the majority were satisfied or very satisfied with their volunteering experience (87%).
Volunteers particularly enjoyed the opportunity to be outside in the fresh air whilst participating in a level of physical activity with like-minded individuals.
Volunteers contributed an amazing 245,000 hours in 2015 to the value of £2.2 million!
They also liked doing something worthwhile that, in parallel, helped the environment, contributed to conservation and wildlife and gave something back to others using or visiting the area.
The majority of volunteers were happy to help out at a Woodland Trust event and a few volunteers (who saw themselves as an ambassador for ‘Trees & Woods’) were willing to run events on their own if requested.
Of the volunteers who were unlikely to recommend volunteering, this was mainly due to the recent changes to the use of power tools and the new permit system that has been implemented with some site volunteers/friends of groups. This led to those volunteers feeling undervalued and unhappy with the low level of communication they had received. This was mirrored by volunteers least likely to agree with the statement that they had the opportunity to influence decision making, so this is an area we will need to develop.
Volunteers seemed keen for us to offer more local events and have more opportunity to connect with other volunteers locally. The issue of meeting locally was raised as a concern alongside the locality of meetings for training events, in terms of them not been local enough to where they live. However, volunteers did see the importance of these meetings in bringing people together, the meetings were felt to help develop a community feeling amongst volunteers, provide a social aspect to the role and prevent any associated isolation issues. Volunteers also wanted to have more opportunities for training and increasing their knowledge.
To all of our volunteers, we’d like to thank you for all your support over the last year. In total you contributed an amazing 245,000 hours in 2015 to the value of £2.2 million. Thank you for helping us achieve even more for woods and trees.