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3 Jun 2024

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2024

Black text on a white background with the outline of part of an orange and part of a pink star. The text reads: 40 years of Volunteers' Week. #VolunteersWeek. With the Volunteers' Week log and '40th Anniversary' underneath.
Volunteers’ Week takes place from 3–9 June. This year, the campaign has a specific theme to focus on the spirit of appreciation and recognition, marking an incredible milestone of 40 years of Volunteers’ Week in the UK.

The goal for this year’s Volunteers’ Week remains the same: to showcase the diverse volunteer community, highlight volunteering opportunities, and inspire positive change.

At the Trust, we are delighted to have an active volunteering community covering Scotland’s entire country. Whether it’s building drystane dykes on Fair Isle, providing property guidance in the Borders, monitoring bats at Threave, or caring for our collection at Castle Fraser, our volunteers play a crucial role in preserving Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage, and we are extremely thankful for their dedication and are honoured to have them as part of our team.

Jo Riley, Visitor Services Assistant, Collections Care at Castle Fraser, shares: ‘Working with volunteers is an amazing experience. One of the most rewarding aspects is learning together and sharing knowledge with others. The volunteers assisting me with the collections at Castle Fraser have benefited from various training opportunities provided by myself, other staff or external experts. Through these experiences, we all grow and learn, which is a cherished part of volunteering.’

Katherine Rutherford began volunteering with the Trust when her children started primary school. Now a Collections Care Volunteer at Drum Castle, helping to conserve the castle’s some 4,000 books and assisting with the archives, Katherine shares her volunteering experience: ‘I’m really enjoying learning new skills and finding out more about how things are conserved. When you see all the work that goes into collections care, you have a greater appreciation for what the Trust does as an organisation to protect things for future generations.

‘I’ve met loads of lovely people — both staff and volunteers. We’re all there because we want to help so we all feel as though we’re a valued member of the team.’

On what she’s enjoying most about volunteering, Katherine continued: ‘I love being able to help out at my favourite castle. We’re all there giving up our time for free because we all love what we do, so there’s a real sense of comradery.

‘I love interacting with people, so I especially enjoy sharing my work with visitors as they visit the castle and I’m really enjoying having adult interactions after spending so many years looking after the kids!’

When asked what she would say to someone considering volunteering with the Trust, Katherine said: ‘Do it! It will open up avenues you may never have thought you’d end up going down. It’s fun, you get to work with lovely people, and it’s flexible, so you can make it work around however much time you’ve got. It’s really rewarding. You’re constantly learning and meeting new people. The pros are endless!

‘Try it — you might just find something you love. That’s what I did, and now I’ve found a new passion in life!’

Each year, around 4,000 dedicated volunteers generously give their time to support projects, properties and events at the Trust. Their incredible efforts play a crucial role in our conservation work and greatly assist us in preserving Scotland’s most iconic and stunning locations.

To all our volunteers we say a big Thank You! We are indebted to you for giving your time, energy and talent to help care for our special places.

If you wish to become part of our volunteer family, please see our volunteering opportunities.

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