Volunteers report 2012
I begin this Annual Report with news of two volunteers - one with cause for celebration as we congratulate Trish Johnson on her marriage to Alastair Gemmell back in February; the other with sadness, as we remember Elma Stewart our wonderful efficient Treasurer for 8 years who died last month. We shall all miss her very much.
I am often asked by visitors to the Discovery Centre, and in the outside world; “What do the volunteers do?” The easy answer perhaps would be; “Anything that you can think of!”
The vols certainly have a huge range of skills and experiences that we put to very good use for the benefit of the Seabird Centre. Over the past year we have been very busy, even adding extra activities to those covered before:
We attended the ASVA conference, and Jewel and Esk staff volunteering day, to talk about what volunteers can do; assisted Seabird staff at offsite events promoting the Centre; been licence and defibrillator trained; made puffin hats, labelled envelopes, stuffed magazines; helped at Wildlife Club; told stories; counted every item in the retail department for the stocktake; assisted in the office; hosted various evening events such as talks, art exhibitions and wine tasting; greeted visitors to the Centre at the Information Table and in the Discovery Centre; and of course we have raised some money!
Since the last AGM we have held Midsummer Music, the Jazz Evening, a Christmas coffee morning and an April coffee morning plus two Bric a Brac sales raising approx. £1,800. Next month Pat Coxhead is the main organiser, with support and help from Jennifer Nisbet and Maggie Sheddan, of a spectacular weekend in the marquee on the green. Festivities begin on the Thursday evening (21 June) with a social get together for volunteers and possibly staff - a glass of wine and a few nibbles. On Friday 22 there will be a whisky tasting plus Scottish cheeses and pates, followed by an auction. Saturday 23 will see A Day on the Bass, with Sunday 24 hosting Midsummer Music in the afternoon.
We shall also be selling the raffle tickets for Diane’s cross stitch picture of the Bass Rock over this weekend so the 4 days will constitute our main fund raising for 2012. In order to be successful we will need every volunteer involved on one or more of the days, at least for part of the event. The final events of the year will be the Jazz Evening on Monday 27 August and the Christmas coffee morning in December.
The Information Team has continued to cover weekend greeting of visitors and answering a multitude of questions, with Aileen Walker looking specifically at access in the Centre for those with a disability
As we are conscious both of the age of many of our vols, and the increased requests for assistance and support from the Centre, Mary Buglass organised a recruitment campaign at the end of last summer, with some success. We even managed to recruit some younger members, although we did lose a few to the world of work!
Many congratulations to Mary Tebble who raised £2,400 with her sponsored wildflower hunt last year. I understand she has now switched her attention to shrubs and trees!
You might ask what we do with all the money we raise? This year we have funded the new lighting for the Bass Rock, the refurbishment of the Children’s Area in the Environment Zone, assisted with the funding for the enhanced Kids’ Zone and paid for the stuffed birds for the cliff face in the Discovery Centre - approximately £6,000.
We are now looking forward with anticipation, to the proposed new extension to the Seabird Centre and considering whether we shall need more volunteers and more fundraising to help with this venture! I hope you have given some feedback on the proposed plans to the Centre, including the possible new name, as the management group do listen to our suggestions and comments. We hold a rather privileged position as volunteers with our input being respected and valued.
I regularly receive thanks and appreciation from Tom Brock and Board members, for the support given by the volunteer group. May I therefore take this opportunity to pass on this appreciation and thank you all for your hard work and enthusiasm over the last year, in particular to my dedicated support team who have covered the posts of secretary and treasurer for some time: Mary Tebble, Mary Buglass, Pat Coxhead and even Mike Forrest.
Sandy Forrest, Chair of the volunteers, May 2012