A sad goodbye to a very valuable volunteer

Coral Smith has been a full time volunteer with the National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust over the spring and summer. Here’s her story:

Photograph by Abby Crosby

I started as a full time volunteer (FTV) in April this year. My role was different to the usual National Trust’s FTVs as my time was split between the National Trust and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, specifically through supporting the Polzeath Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA). The aim of my role was to bring the organisations closer together as both share a vested interest in the local area. Before I started, I felt I needed more experience in the conservation sector and this placement looked like a great opportunity for me to get involved with two highly respected conservation charities, and also the chance to live and work in a beautiful place for six months. More specifically, I hoped to gain some much needed practical skills, as well as continue to develop my marine conservation experience and working with the public. During my time in North Cornwall, I have learned a wide variety of practical conservation skills, attended a number of events representing the National Trust/Polzeath VMCA, and met and worked with some amazing people. During these six months I was also able to complete a Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Environmental Conservation, thanks to my National Trust work. Through ongoing training courses provided by both organisations, as well as my experiences over the six months, I have gained valuable skills which I really hope will help lead me into a career in Environmental Education and Conservation.’

Photograph by Sarah Stevens

This was the first time the National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust have shared a full time volunteer. But it has worked well and Coral has been a fantastic asset to both charities. We wish her well in the future.

We may have another FTV of this type next year, as this year has been such a success. The National Trust has a team of three full time volunteers all year round, but we are always keen to recruit new volunteers for a variety of part time / casual roles such as volunteer Ranger, surveyor, photographer, event assistant and litter picker. If you have some spare time and want to put something back into your local environment, please get in touch sarahe.stevens@nationaltrust.org.uk