Put your passion for animals to work
Our 500 volunteers are our animals’ true friends.
We have volunteer opportunities at our centres for all sorts of positions from animal food preparation to fundraising, gardening and doing the laundry. We also need volunteers to help in our shops. Even if you can only spare an hour of your time a week, you will be making a massive difference to our work.
Please be aware that most popular volunteering roles are working directly with the cats and dogs and in some of our centres these roles are currently oversubscribed, so please check with your local centre. All our centres offer many other volunteering roles, which also make a real difference to the animals we help both now and in the future, and are a great way to get to know the centre whilst you wait for a dog or cat volunteer role to become available.
We would not be the organisation we are without the support of our volunteer community. In 2018/19, more than 220,000 hours of volunteer effort worth more than £14 million were contributed.There are many different opportunities to support our work. No matter what your level of knowledge, how much time you have to give or what motivates you to volunteer, your contribution is warmly welcomed, and hugely appreciated.
Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Volunteering in any capacity is a great way to share your enthusiasm, skills and ideas whilst having fun and meeting like-minded people.
By volunteering for the Trust, you would also be making a positive contribution to the conservation of bumblebees, wildflowers and the many other parts of our natural world that depend on bees. All you really need is enthusiasm, a love of wildlife and some time.
Action for the River Kennet is a group of people who care about the River Kennet and its tributaries. We are also catchment hosts for the Kennet Catchment Partnership.
In response to the current COVID-19 situation we have suspended practical volunteering activities and our staff are working from home.
If you have a few hours to spare and would like to get involved we run regular practical volunteering activities almost every week, some during the week and some at weekends. No previous experience is required and we supply waders and equipment. We usually meet up along different stretches of the River Kennet and its tributaries from Marlborough to Reading. Activities are often in the river, as well as on the adjoining habitats and include riverbank restoration, planting, habitat improvement, litter picking, Himalayan balsam removal and much more!
Kennet & Avon Canal Trust
We work to Protect, Enhance and Promote Britain’s best waterway. Browse our site to find out about our boat trips, our steam engines, our events and our cafes
- Cutting back vegetation and restoring the footpath
- Litter picking – in the river and on the bank
- Restoring habitats in the river through the use of faggots and mattresses
- Maintaining a wildflower meadow next to the river
- Sanding and oiling benches by the riverside
However you choose to support us, you’ll be helping ensure future generations can enjoy nature, beauty and history for ever.
Volunteers in the current situation
Volunteers have always been at the heart of the work of the National Trust in caring for nature, beauty and history and we are really grateful for your interest in volunteering with us. At the moment, our staff and volunteer teams are working hard to safely reopen more of our places. While we focus on reopening, many of our places won’t be able to support new volunteers joining the team just yet.
When we’re ready to involve new volunteers, we’ll promote volunteering opportunities here on our website. Hopefully we’ll have a volunteering role that will be just right for you.
As soon as the covers come off the historic statuary, the conservation cleaning begins. In gardens and parkland at places like Hughenden, Waddesdon, Cliveden and Basildon Park, teams of volunteers are preparing their buckets and brushes for the big scrub.
We look after 780 miles of coastline, providing havens for wildlife and beautiful beaches for everyone to enjoy. But we need your help to clear up the rubbish that washes up on our shores.
We run events up and down the country throughout the year. If you’d like to lend a hand to keep these places special, why not join in with one of our regular beach cleans?
The West Berkshire Countryside Society
The Society exists to Promote the understanding, appreciation and conservation of the West Berkshire Countryside, we also learn, and get to have a lot of fun, while we do so.
. We plant and lay hedges, clear paths and build foot bridges, clear archaeological features and create glades and other habitats in historic woods. We provide tools and training and all tasks are lead by trained people. We aim to have fun as well as gaining a sense of achievement in improving the countryside of West Berkshire. We expect no fixed commitment. Volunteers are of all ages and of both sexes.
The Barn Owl Group
The group was set up round about the year 2000 when about 40 nest boxes were installed in the Pang Valley. Over the years more boxes have been added and we have expanded into the Kennet Valley. We are now looking after about 140 boxes. There are currently about 20 active volunteers who divide into teams of two or three with each team looking after 10 to 20 boxes.
Protecting local wildlife
Your local Wildlife Trust has a vision of a wilder Berks, Bucks and Oxon. We’re restoring nature across these beautiful counties and empowering people to connect with their local wildlife.
As we work to manage habitats to tackle the nature and climate crises locally, we provide vital breathing spaces in a crowded world.
Our expert team work with more than 1,700 volunteers to look after 85 nature reserves and four education centres, run hundreds of amazing events, and campaign to make nature’s recovery a reality.
We’d love you to join us.
Upper Thames Butterflies
Founded in 1982, the Upper Thames Branch of Butterfly Conservation aims to protect butterflies, moths and their habitats in the three counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The rolling hills of the Chilterns, the broad vales of Oxford and Aylesbury, the ancient Bernwood Forest complex, the edge of the picturesque Cotswolds and the threatened heathlands of south-east Berkshire are all to be found in the three counties. The branch has almost 1900 members, and it is managed by the membership on an entirely voluntary basis.
It is possible to see three-quarters of the 58 British butterfly species in the Upper Thames region.
Around 1000 moth species have been recorded in the Upper Thames region, with over 500 on our own reserve at Holtspur.
Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue
Didcot Railway Station
With a 21-acre site to look after; around 30 locomotives to restore and maintain; about 50 vintage carriages and dozens of wagons to care for; a host of historic buildings to repair; 1000s of museum artefacts to catalogue and conserve; and 50,000 visitors to look after every year; there’s lots to do and we’re always pleased to welcome new volunteers!
From helping to run the trains, entertain the public, restore vehicles, maintain the gardens or wash up in the Refreshment Rooms, we have something for you. And whether you have specialist skills that you’d like to utilise, or want to learn a new role, we’ll be delighted to have you on board and will provide full training where necessary.
It doesn’t matter whether you can help every week, every month or just occasionally; you choose how often you can help and which role(s) you’d like to do.
Of course, in a railway engineering and operating environment, safety is paramount, so all new volunteers have a welcome and induction session and you’ll be supported with training in your chosen role(s) so you can work confidently and safely as part of our friendly team.
Our volunteers are of all ages and from all walks of life – meet a few of them and hear the range of opportunities to get involved. Volunteers help run every department at the Centre and assist with administration and other work away from the site, so there are opportunities in every department.
When you are ready to find out more, let us know that you’d like to help and we’ll get in touch!
North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust
The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) stretches across parts of Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, with areas of rolling chalk grassland, ancient woodlands, arable farmland, steep escarpments, downland hillsides and chalk river valleys – rich in habitats, wildlife and evidence of six thousand years of cultural heritage. This heritage is alive and active today with world-famous tourist attractions and scenery, busy market towns and some of England’s most attractive and friendly village communities. The AONB is also home to international HQs of high-tech businesses.
The Landscape Trust works to promote awareness of these treasures, encourage their enjoyment by both local people and visitors and secure their protection, enhancement and productive use for future generations.
We have had an influx of very kind offers to support Hearing Dogs during these uncertain times. Please rest assured that all our puppies and dogs are being safely looked after by our current volunteers and we are not experiencing any need for emergency homes at this present time.
If, however, you are interested in becoming a long term volunteer once things have returned to normal then please do let us know! We are still looking for volunteers around the country for a variety of roles.
Dog lovers wanted in West Berkshire
What do you get?
- To provide a home for a gorgeous hearing dog puppy from the age of 8 weeks for 14-16 months.
- Full support from your local Puppy Training Instructor via online support, virtual puppy classes and group training classes.
- We can arrange a temporary home for your pup when you go away or in an emergency.
- All food, bedding, toys and equipment will be provided.
- Medical expenses and insurance is covered by Hearing Dogs.
- The opportunity to meet like-minded people and the satisfaction in helping others.
What do we need?
- A loving home, with a secure garden.
- Access to a computer & video calling facilities.
- Volunteers who are at home for the majority of the day and who can dedicate time to puppy training on a daily basis.
- Volunteers who can drive and have access to a vehicle.
- People who have an interest in dog training.
- Volunteers who have an interest in learning new skills and working towards goals.
- Previous experience is not necessary for this role.
Whether you have just an hour, a day or a week to give, and whatever your skills, there’s an opportunity for you to volunteer with the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) near where you live.
You will be joining hundreds of other people from all walks of life who volunteer with the Wildlife Trust.
As well as being a great way to meet people, learn new skills and gain valuable experience that could help you start a career in conservation, volunteering with the Wildlife Trust will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to protect and enhance your local environment to benefit wildlife and connect people with nature.
You don’t need lots of experience! BBOWT has practical volunteering opportunities at all levels, usually outdoors on our nature reserves although some of them are office-based, and relevant training is given before you start. You don’t need lots of experience! BBOWT has practical volunteering opportunities at all levels, usually outdoors on our nature reserves although some of them are office-based, and relevant training is given before you start.
Volunteering during COVID-19 -Update December 2020
In line with government advice, and to play our part in not spreading Covid-19, we have made significant changes to the way volunteering takes place at Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.
We are welcoming existing volunteers back, in smaller groups, as soon as it is safe to do so but there are many additional financial and practical constraints, so we are recruiting for a very limited number of roles at the moment. Whilst we are happy to take general enquires, please be aware that the majority of recruitment remains suspended.
The number of people who have contacted us interested in volunteering has been heart-warming, so thank you to everyone who is looking to support our work.
West Berkshire Community Hospital Therapy Garden
The Therapy garden was developed approximately 4 years ago by Chrissie (our Activities Co-ordinator) and the then Matron Amanda Hart. Chrissie and Amanda were instrumental in initiating the garden volunteers support and this then led to the design of the garden.
Church Conservation Trust
Since our foundation in 1969, we have valued the work of local volunteers supporting local churches. Over recent years volunteering has become central to all that we do, with volunteer numbers now reaching over 1800 across the country. Without the extraordinary contribution of volunteers we would not be able to carry out our award-winning work.
We simply would not be able to protect historic churches without the support and commitment of our volunteers.
Covid-19: If you are interested in volunteering for us, we would love to hear from you. We are still taking applications for many of our volunteering roles and we are always looking for people who can help us raise the next generation of life-changing guide dogs.
The Puppy Walker volunteering role is a long-term role where a puppy will live with you for at least a year.
Due to the current restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, some of our volunteering applications are taking longer to process. In some areas we may not be able to complete applications until face-to-face contact can be resumed.
Flowers From The Farm
Flowers from the Farm is a network of small businesses – both growers and florists . Some members are well-established while others are just starting to trade – but they’re all willing to support you as you build your own flower business by sharing experiences and offering tips and advice. Anyone wishing to run a business growing or selling British grown flowers is welcome to join us.