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Celebrating Volunteer’s Week

Today marks the end of Volunteer’s Week – an opportunity for everyone here at David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) to say a huge thank you as we show our appreciation for our incredible volunteers.

If you’ve been to one of our events – from the dazzling Wildlife Ball to our recent ‘Quiz for a Cause’ in our home village of Shalford, our volunteers were working behind the scenes to deliver a seamless evening and experience all round.

Week in, week out, our volunteers are also diligently based in our office, enabling the smooth tick over of all our operations – from fulfilling adoptions to sending out the latest copy of our Wildlife Matters supporters’ magazine. And as you can probably guess, this barely scratches the surface of the multitude of things that wouldn’t run nearly as smoothly without this army of dedicated people behind them – especially for us as a charity.

We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge just a few of our regular volunteers who have agreed to share their thoughts on working with DSWF over the years.

Working together for the greater good

Kate is in the office week in, week out, is an active fundraiser, but also cares deeply about ensuring our supporters get the appreciation and acknowledgement they deserve.

“Whether I’m assembling adoption packs, writing thank you notes, or doing admin for Global Canvas, I have the privilege of seeing incredible art. But more importantly, I feel like I’m playing a small part in helping to protect very vulnerable species.”

Kate Dossett, Volunteer.

Full steam ahead for conservation

Some of our volunteers were lucky enough to have met and worked with our founder, David Shepherd CBE. As many of our supporters will know, David was affectionately known as the ‘man who loved giants’ – because of his great affection for elephants of course, but also, his lifelong passion for British steam trains.

Barbara has shared this lovely picture of her, with David, and ‘Black Prince’ – a BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 steam locomotive he restored, from a fundraising event.

“We were up in Sheringham, Norfolk, on the Poppy Line. Kay (former employee and volunteer) and I would go up in a big van with David’s pictures – both originals and prints. We would be there the whole weekend, up early and late into the night, as David would be signing prints and talking to people on the platform all day, then the ‘chat show’.

The chat show took place in a marquee, covering the good work DSWF were doing all over Africa, India, Pakistan and many other projects.

Then everyone would come out and buy all the prints and other merchandise that we had taken and sign up to donate to the fund. We all enjoyed meeting everyone and letting them know what the Foundation did. These were the kind of events where it proved so important to have volunteers – usually at least four of us on hand!

We always had fun and you felt you were reaching a lot of people with giving them the knowledge about the projects DSWF were doing.”

Barbara Hayers, Volunteer

A driven man

David’s larger than life character and cheeky shenanigans mean there are always fond memories to reflect on. But as always, his love of wildlife was the driving force behind almost everything he did – as this story from Amanda shows.

“I can remember at one of the Dorchester events, where David Shepherd was driving a jeep on stage which was up for auction. My husband was helping the bidding along and the total reached £11k (I was seriously concerned at this point that we’d end up with the Jeep!). David reversed the jeep and very nearly drove it off the stage. All turned out well, for both David and me, when someone else topped the bidding.

There are lots of happy memories of being a volunteer. I was lucky enough to join David on a tiger safari in India and saw the majestic creatures firsthand, up close and personal. I later had a painting lesson and produced a head which did resemble a tiger!”

Amanda Miller, Volunteer

A simple thank you from us all at DSWF

We’d like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you, as well as our evergreen appreciation to Kate, Barbara, Amanda, Colin, and all our volunteers – past, present, and future. And not just as part of Volunteers’ Week, but every single day.

Amanda Butler – another stalwart volunteer and our Environmental Educator!

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering with DSWF, you can do so here.

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