One of the reasons I wanted to do my Masters course on a part-time basis was to have time to get involved in other valuable activities outside of university and build on my work experience. Birmingham Friends of the Earth has provided me with the perfect opportunity to do this!
I saw a volunteering vacancy for BFOE advertised on a website called Do-it which advertises volunteering opportunities. I knew straight away that a volunteering job at Birmingham Friends of the Earth was likely to suit me as I have a long-standing passion for environmental issues and vegetarianism.
I’ve been volunteering here one day a week for just over a year and it’s great! I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of campaigns on important environmental issues such as waste, air pollution and nature. Each week is different and I could be doing anything from research to online promotion to covering reception.
Right from my first day I felt I belonged because the other staff and volunteers I have met here are very welcoming and supportive. On a weekly basis I work with a small team of volunteers, the exact number can vary from week to week but overall there is a wide network of well over a hundred volunteers.
Every Monday night there is a meeting here at Birmingham Friends of the Earth and this is a great way to meet with other volunteers and find out the latest campaigns news. I used to volunteer on a Monday and stay for the weekly meeting. This really helped me get to know other volunteers and feel a part of the organisation. The other benefit of Monday night meetings is to find out what events are taking place in the near future which volunteers are encouraged to get involved with.
One of the highlights of my volunteering experience so far has been a Lobby of Parliament on climate change which I attended in London with a group of other volunteers and supporters. Each of us met our local MP and talked to them about the importance of putting climate change to the top of the political agenda. My MP, Shabana Mahmood was very friendly and receptive of my ideas.
Lately I have mainly been supporting Meat-Free May and the Nature Everywhere campaign. My role involves research into suitable locations for us to have a stall and support events. My role can also involve events promotion via Facebook, Twitter or the Birmingham Friends of the Earth website.
The organisation is looking for new volunteers to join our group. Come along and support a worthwhile cause in a friendly and welcoming team!