Sea Watch Foundation is very proud of all of our volunteers, from the ones who just take the time out of their day to submit casual sightings they have, to our regional coordinators who work tirelessly to support our work in their local area.
Volunteers are central to our work. They are a valuable presence without our charity, providing countless hours, around 10,000 hours a year to be more precise. These hours are vital for our work with volunteers assisting with data entry, data collection, public awareness and much more!
Our sightings network for example is run entirely by the data and sightings collected by volunteers! We have countless volunteers all around the UK who take time out of their day to collect effort data which we can use to monitor cetaceans and even more who send in sightings they have when they are out and about.
One of Sea Watch Foundations aims is to ‘educating, informing and advising for better environmental protection’ this work is made so much easier with the support of our volunteers that spread the word around their counties, especially our regional coordinators who do a great number of outreach events, talks, and much more!
· In 2015, volunteering output contributed an estimated £22.6bn to the UK economy. This is equivalent to approximately 1.2% of GDP.
· In 2016/17, 19.8 million (37%) people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and 11.9 million (22%) of people did so at least once a month.
· There are 165,801 voluntary organisations in the UK, many of whom rely on volunteers.
· Lots of volunteering also takes place within the public and private sector. For example, there are an estimated 3 million people volunteering in health and care.
Why volunteering is important
Volunteering is important not only for the time and work is gives to the groups it’s for but also for the people completing the volunteering. Volunteering helps individuals meet other people in their local area that have similar interests, and give people vital experiences for their careers, volunteering also is great for your mental health.
One of the best-known benefits of volunteering is the impact it has on the local community, volunteering allows people to build connections in their community while also making it a better place to live. Evening giving the smallest amount of time to a good cause can make a real difference to the groups in need. Volunteering is a two-way street though! It can benefit you as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, and boost your social skills.
If you’re new to the area why not pop by one of our organised land watches and meet some new people with a similar interest in cetaceans and learn more about your local marine life!
Or if you’re trying to learn new skills ready for your career we have some fantastic summer internships on offer each year. Volunteering with us allows you to gain important experience in cetacean research and meet other people in the field. As well as the subject-specific skills volunteering also allows you to hone in on important skills like team work, problem solving and task management.
We would like to take a moment this week to thank our volunteers and share some of their stories and the role they have played in our charity. Keep an eye on our Facebook page this week to see these great stories, and for ways, you can get involved with our work!