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Giving back and learning new skills

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Posted: Thursday 12th October 2017 by WildBlog

By Phillipa Lovemore, Avon Wildlife Trust Volunteer

Phillipa Lovemore has spent the last few months volunteering for Avon Wildlife Trust and shares her motivation for getting involved...

As Event Manager at AXA Wealth, I managed the corporate events calendar, developing and implementing a range of events for both internal and external audiences. I project managed each event from the planning stages through to event delivery and evaluation. Last year my role was made redundant and I decided to take on freelance work which gave me more freedom and ultimately meant I had more free time. I decided now is the time to give back, so I looked for an organisation I felt I could connect with.

I decided on Avon Wildlife Trust because I believe nature has such an impact on wellbeing and wanted to play my part in supporting the work the charity does. After contacting the Trust, I was invited into the office to help them with organising events including planning this year’s Annual General Meeting.
The plan for this year’s AGM is to make it more of an event, and to encourage members and non-members to enjoy an evening of inspiration and connection to nature. I found myself organising a very different kind of event to any I had managed in my professional work in the corporate world.

I have joined staff and volunteers to collect plums at Avon Wildlife Trust’s Feed Bristol project and then helped turn them into plum gin ready for the event. I have also organised lunchtime walks to forage for rosehip berries which have been made into delicious hedgerow jelly. And I also collected apples and spent a day making chutney. All these delicacies will be served with the canapes at the AGM and we’ve taken nature’s free produce to create a feast for the guests.

Although my skills have mainly been used helping with event management in the office, I’ve also been able to join the many volunteer days that Avon Wildlife Trust run. I’ve had a taste of dry stone walling as well as scything – all activities I would never had had an opportunity to experience otherwise. I’ve felt so many benefits from volunteering including meeting people, learning skills and being part of a community. I’ve been able to bring my skills and a fresh perspective and at the same time I’ve gained new skills and a new way of looking at things. I believe everyone should experience the joy of volunteering so do get involved!

To get involved in some of Avon Wildlife Trust’s volunteering opportunities go to and if you’d like to attend the Annual General Meeting go to

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