Join Our Volunteer Team
The Trust's Volunteer Team helps with all aspects of our work. In 2015/16 the 140 strong team gave over 5000 hours of service. Managed by our Community and Volunteers Officer, Charlotte Neary, we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers of all ages and experience to help with tasks both indoors at the Centre and out on the river. What do we expect from you if you do?
We’ll hope for enthusiasm and enjoyment, we’ll need some commitment to turn up punctually for clean-ups and reception duties, and in the latter case you'll need to dress smartly enough to be our representative in meeting the public.
You can do River Patrols at any time. All registered volunteers are insured while acting for us and we give safety advice as the activity requires, which is the volunteers responsibility to adhere to. For more details and to register, CLICK ON ME TO DOWNLOAD THE VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION FORM AND INFORMATION PACK
We also have a variety of social events, including outings and chats over the odd pint or glass of wine.
River Clean-ups prove the most popular and dramatic events our volunteers are involved in. Around once a month we select a length of river which is blighted by litter, round up the volunteers and spend 2-3 hours in the river and on its banks, filling up a skip with all manner of litter and often some large or strange objects. Surprisingly good fun...
In addition we are carrying out maintenance work such as path and drain clearance and branch trimming to ensure that the river and the river pathways remain accessible and a pleasure to use all year round. See our VOLUNTEER PACK for more detail and subscribe to our on-line newsletter to receive information about our activities along the river.
River Patrol Volunteers
As guardians of Edinburgh’s river we need to keep watch on what is happening along the 12 miles of walkway from Balerno to Leith. We need to know promptly about anything which needs action. Patrol Volunteers are our eyes and ears. Patrol Volunteers adopt a ‘patch’ of river and walkway and ideally patrol it once a week, keeping a watch for any problems.
Pollution is the most urgent case, requiring an immediate call to SEPA (0800 807060) but this is very rare. Other issues we need to know about include: fallen trees, broken fences and collapsed walls, accumulations of litter, fly tipping and dumping, vandalism, appearance of invasive plants, dog poo hot spots and any other threats to the status quo. We also want to know about the more positive things, such as presence of birds and animals, the usage of the river and its walkway.
Visitor Centre Volunteers
The Water of Leith Visitor Centre has been open since May 2000, and is staffed by volunteers everyday. It is a popular attraction with school groups, walkers and visiting families. We need volunteers to staff the reception desk, providing the first impression of the centre and the trust, welcoming visitors with a smile, giving help and advice and taking the money for admissions and sales.
Usually volunteers work 3 hours shifts (10.00am to 1.00pm and 1.00pm to 4.00pm). The volunteer on the desk is always backed up by a member of staff, who will make the teas and coffees and provide any other help so the volunteer can stay at the desk. Training on the use of the till, the river, the workings of the exhibition etc is provided for all volunteers and we do not expect people to be experts but it is good for volunteers to keep up to date with our work and ‘what’s happening’ along the river.
The qualities needed for a good receptionist are friendliness and common sense. Unflappability is excellent (for example if 20 children are thrusting pennies at you for pencil sharpeners all at once) but staff are always around to lend a hand. If you think ‘reception volunteering’ is for you, tick the box on the registration form, and we will call you to arrange a training session.
If you'd like to join our volunteer team please contact us to find out more.
Teams of volunteers from business across the city help us to deliver environmental improvement projects in the Water of Leith Valley, why not get your company involved? An Environmental Action Day gives staff the chance to make a positive difference to a familiar local environment. Conservation work can also provide a great backdrop to staff training and development. This in turn can boost team moral, motivation, help with stress management and be a lot of fun. It's an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that your business has a commitment to corporate and social responsibility by allowing your staff to work with the third sector in their local outdoor environment.