The listening ear
Published: Sep 20, 2017Volunteering roles are many and varied - sometimes it's about being there to smile and listen...
Hi there, my name is Gail and I have been a volunteer at Living Coasts for the past 5 years. It can be a little quiet for those of us interacting with visitors, as most volunteers at Living Coasts are divers or with the keepers preparing food or cleaning Penguin Beach. We could do with a few more people down here to help out at this lovely place, so spread the word!
Before I retired I spent 40 years in the NHS, looking after cancer patients and their families. I gained a tremendous satisfaction in what I could do to change things for the better. My second love is looking after and caring for animals, having looked after my own dogs/cats/ferrets/tropical fish throughout my life, so volunteering at Living Coasts seemed the perfect solution to carry on the same ethos.
I mainly volunteer on a Thursday, doing "meet and greet" at front of house, though over the years I have been known to volunteer as "Santa's Elf”, and in any other role required to assist the various promotions / events that are put on.
I really enjoy speaking to people, sometimes they arrive and are not sure what happens here, so I can explain the size of the site, how many different animals and exhibits we have here, the talk and feed times and how it is all so well-designed to make those with limited mobility very welcome.
Apart from "Meet and Greet" I look after Front of House, cleaning windows, taking care of the plants, doing all the paperwork for Gift Aid donations and looking after the new Adoptions boards. One of the things I am most proud of is that for any person who arrives here and just needs a chat I can provide that "listening ear".