Celebrating Our Volunteers

June 6, 2022

A volunteer with giraffes at Marwell Zoo

We are proud to be celebrating #NationalVolunteersWeek! We have over 120 wonderful volunteers and so far, this year they have already contributed an incredible 2,021 hours of their time to support our mission of connecting people with nature – thank you!

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and offer a wide range of skills in a variety of roles from admin support, and public engagement, to helping our Plants and Landscapes team.

Are you interested in volunteering at Marwell? View our current vacancies here.

You may have seen our lovely volunteer Jill, on your journey around the park. We asked her why she enjoys volunteering at Marwell:

“I work as part of the Public Engagement volunteer team; my duties generally take place either in the Tropical House or Giraffe House. I enjoy meeting and chatting to everyone, especially young people, about Marwell life generally, my volunteering role, and in particular, the amazing variety of animals that live at Marwell.

“It gives me such pleasure to see guests’ faces and watch their delight when they see the giraffe for the very first time. Another interest I have is the conservation work that Marwell takes part in, continually working towards ensuring the survival of critically endangered animals in this country and around the world. I’ve made many new friends by volunteering at Marwell and it’s always interesting to work and engage with like-minded people who also care about wildlife.

“If I had to choose just one favourite animal, it will always be the graceful giraffe. The way they look at you with those huge eyes from that great height, as if they know and appreciate the love and admiration, we all have for them is, for me, very special.  All the giraffe at Marwell have their own personality and it’s always fun to just watch them interacting with each other.  Also, I have a soft spot for the okapi, as they are so unique to look at, and to spend time in their house, quietly just watching them, is so therapeutic.

“When I left school, I completed a hairdressing apprenticeship and worked in the industry until I had a family. When they grew up, I changed careers and became a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school, supporting students who found general daily school life very challenging.  I think that is why I love engaging with young people at Marwell, and I can still also combine two of my interests, wildlife, and education.

“My very first memory of visiting Marwell many years ago is taking my son there on his first birthday. He slept all the way around and was none-the-wiser that it was a special birthday treat!  I had an amazing time and I feel the trip started my love for wildlife.

“I think my favourite, and most special, memory is the very first time I had a volunteering duty at Marwell.  I was so nervous because I knew I had such a lot to learn, but everyone in and out of the office was so encouraging and put me totally at ease. When I first put on a Marwell jacket, I was bursting with pride and still feel the same way, nine years later.”