Volunteering FAQs

Some further information about what to expect if you are thinking about volunteering with Ulster Wildlife

Do volunteers have to be members?

No. We recognise that people offer their support and help in a variety of ways. Some people give donations of money often through their membership. Some people offer their time as volunteers. Some are able to do both. Whichever you are we are extremely grateful.

Do you need prior experience to become a volunteer?

No. We aim to encourage people from all walks of life, with a variety of life experiences, to become involved in the work of Ulster Wildlife. Volunteers sometimes have specialist skills and expertise but more often volunteers learn as they go along, after receiving appropriate on the job training and guidance from a staff member or experienced volunteer. For regular volunteers and for more involved roles, we aim to make formal training available as and when it is needed. 

How much time do I need to commit?

You decide how much time you wish to give Ulster Wildlife. Some people are able to volunteer every week whereas some are only available to volunteer once a month or a few times every year. However, some roles do require a more solid commitment than others – if this is the case, it will be discussed with you before you start volunteering.

As a volunteer you are free to leave whenever you like. There's no obligation for volunteers to attend or to give a minimum amount of time. You decide and agree your commitment with us.

What about insurance?

As long as volunteers are working for and on behalf of Ulster Wildlife they will be covered by our Employer’s Liability insurance policy. Personal equipment and belongings are not insured under our policy. 

Who can volunteer?

A wide range of people from many different backgrounds volunteer with Ulster Wildlife, whatever their age and background. Our volunteers include; students, long-term unemployed, full-time workers, retired men and women and people from an ethnic background.

Can I volunteer if I have a disability?

Yes. There are disabled volunteers in all kinds of roles with Ulster Wildlife and we regularly work with volunteers from a variety of disability groups. 

Can I volunteer if I am claiming benefits?

Volunteering should not affect your social security benefits providing you comply with the rules laid down by the Social Security Agency

What skills do I need?

We try to match your skills and experiences to a suitable role, or if possible help you to develop them. Some roles, such as our Butterfly Surveyors require some specialised knowledge, but many can be carried out with a little guidance and plenty of enthusiasm!

What support will I be given?

Support for our volunteers is something we take very seriously. Whatever roles you do for us we will ensure you have what you need to do them successfully. All volunteers have someone within Ulster Wildlife to help them in their role and we are very keen to ensure volunteers feel part of the team.

Why should I volunteer?

People volunteer for all sorts of different reasons. It may be to gain confidence, learn new skills, put your experiences to good use, meet new friends, build self esteem, develop new interests or gain work experience. By getting involved with Ulster Wildlife you will also be helping to secure a healthy environment for wildlife across Northern Ireland.

Will it cost me anything to become a volunteer?

No. Ulster Wildlife is keen to ensure that all volunteers are not left “out-of-pocket” by doing voluntary work, so we can offer expenses for mileage, bus/rail travel and lunch.