Events Residential Volunteer & Guide

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Spey Bay, Moray, Scotland

Volunteer • Full Time 01343 820339 Lisa Farley

Sectors: marine conservation, conservation & wildlife, environmental education

Closing date: Friday, 05 January 2018

Events Residential Volunteer & Guide

WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay

Get the experience and get ahead in conservation with a volunteer programme that works!

Are you passionate about the environment? Or an excellent communicator keen to inspire all ages? Or looking to gain valuable experience in conservation and events organisation?

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) our vision is for a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free. We are looking for a dedicated residential Events Residential Volunteer & Guide to join our team at the Scottish Dolphin Centre, in Moray, North East Scotland, to help deliver WDC’s objectives.

The visitor Centre and volunteer accommodation is based in a beautiful location adjacent to a reserve at the mouth of the River Spey. The largest bottlenose dolphins in the world can be seen feeding regularly along with ospreys, seals, the occasional otter and a huge variety of other wildlife.

Your time will be divided between engaging with/guiding visitors at the Scottish Dolphin Centre and working closely with the SDC Officer delivering the events programme at the Centre and in the local area.

This post requires an excellent command of the English language (both written and spoken) and the ability to work individually and as part of a team.


  • Deliver a fun and high quality visitor experience through interpretation and events at the Scottish Dolphin Centre to help raise awareness of the work of Whale and Dolphin Conservation
  • To support the SDC Officer in promoting the work of the WDC Centre through varied events on and offsite, and developing new resources/ideas to engage and inspire visitors.

Your time will be divided between engaging with/guiding visitors at the Scottish Dolphin Centre and working closely with the SDC Officer delivering the events programme at the Centre and in the local area.

The role will give you essential training & experience in:

  • Delivering environmental interpretation - inspiring people to take an interest and care for the environment through land-based dolphin watching, tours, talks and guided wildlife walks.
  • Visitor engagement - raising the profile of WDC by engaging with visitors to the Centre - amaze & inspire them about the world of whales and dolphins and the work that we do to protect them
  • Guiding visitors (around the Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve and the historic Tugnet icehouse) and customer service (in the Centre shop)
  • Research – In the form of 10 minute land-based dolphin watches
  • Supporting the implementation of the WDC Centre events programme through:

Events organisation – delivering existing events (family fun days i.e. Pirate Day, Halloween and a range of children’s craft & activity days, guided evening wildlife walks), creating and being responsible for new events aimed at children and families to deliver through the school holidays.

Creating promotional materials, (posters, displays, flyers).

Presenting evening walks – Creating and leading some of our evening walks through the year on the beautiful SWT nature reserve

Attending events and community outreach – manning the stand at a variety of community events to increase awareness of the work of WDC in Scotland and raise the profile of the Centre and to actively gain support for WDC policy campaigns

Developing resources - to inspire and educate people to support WDC and its current campaigns.

Volunteer Role Includes:

  • Providing interpretation/guiding/land based dolphin watching for visitors at the Scottish Dolphin Centre, including daily guided walks and tours of the historic building and the Tugnet icehouse, customer service in the shop (approximately 3 - 5 days per week working a 2 shift system)
  • Assist in the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre shop including, welcoming visitors, customer service, re-stocking the shop, cashing up at the beginning and end of each shift..
  • Developing and leading new and exciting interpretation resources, walks, talks and a wide range of activities and ideas for engaging and visitors to support WDC and conservation issues.
  • Carrying out shore-based dolphin, whale and porpoise observations in the form of hourly 10 minute watches and entering the data into a spreadsheet
  • Assisting in administration and office work.
  • Training new volunteers recruited throughout the season
  • Assisting with the development and presentation of evening walks on the SWT reserve.
  • Possibility of assisting the Education Officer with schools visits/talks
  • Carrying out maintenance work around the centre, including gardening and painting, as well as other duties as and when required.
  • To assist with other WDC work as needed.

Essential skills, experience and qualities:

  • Excellent communication skills, and able to effectively convey messages to a wide range of audiences and group sizes
  • Creative approach to work
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Enthusiasm for the marine environment and terrestrial wildlife
  • Self-motivated with an ability to work unsupervised
  • Flexibility in the workplace
  • Highly motivated and eager to learn
  • Good problem solver with a ‘can do’ attitude

Desirable skills, experiences and qualities:

  • Full driver’s licence and car – strongly desirable (mileage expenses will be covered)
  • Knowledge and support of WDC and its objectives
  • Experience of working with or supervising volunteers
  • Good knowledge of cetaceans, Scottish wildlife and plants
  • Experience of working with children
  • Knowledge of computer design software (preferably InDesign)
  • Experience of developing resources
  • Good computer literacy, including the ability to use spreadsheets, word processing, email and internet

Skills you will gain:

This role offers the following skills, experience and qualifications:

You will gain qualifications in:

  • 1 day Emergency First Aid qualification
  • BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic Qualification (we will give you time off to complete this training but you will need to pay or fundraise for 50% of the cost of the course)

You will be trained (amongst other things) in:

  • Interpretive guiding
  • Wildlife identification
  • Research – Shorewatch
  • Education talks

You will gain experience in:

  • Delivering interpretive talks and tours to a wide ranging audience
  • Shore-based dolphin monitoring
  • Responsibility of day to day running of shop and cash handling
  • Organising, running and publicising events for both adults and children
  • Project management of interpretive projects
  • Planning, developing and leading a wide variety of events
  • Developing interpretive resources and leading activities for the general public
  • Volunteer supervision/training
  • Assisting in delivering educational activities to visiting school groups
  • Monitoring Health and Safety

You will gain skills in:

  • Effective communication
  • Public speaking
  • Strong Interpersonal skills
  • Presentation skills
  • An increased knowledge and awareness of cetaceans, Scottish wildlife and conservation issues
  • Project management
  • Team work
  • Independent work
  • Leadership
  • Flexible working
  • Problem solving
  • Taking initiative
  • Prioritising work
  • Wildlife identification

We also provide:

  • Free onsite accommodation in an area of outstanding natural beauty
  • £30 weekly food budget per person (volunteers find this more than enough to cover their needs)
  • Training and support
  • Mileage expenses

Check us out online:

Volunteers play a vital role in the work we do at the WDC, you will be expected to cover all areas of work and in return you will receive experience in many different aspects of conservation work.

The majority of this role involves community outreach, interpretation and engaging with visitors, if you are looking for field experience this is not the opportunity for you.

Opportunities run:

  • Thursday 1st March – Sunday 28th October 2018
  • Volunteering 5 days a week, including weekends.
  • Must be committed for 8 months in order to gain the full range of experience and to make a worthwhile contribution to our work.

As we are advertising for more than one volunteer position, should you wish to apply for two or more positions please rank the roles in order of your preference.

Application packs can be downloaded here.

Please note that we are unable to accept CVs as an application

Further details about the Centre can be found at

Please return applications to:

Contact Lisa Farley for more details: 01343 820339

Closing date: 5pm Friday 5th January 2018.

Interviews: will be held, preferably via Skype or alternatively by telephone w/c 15th January 2018.

Please mention when responding to this ad.