Events and Education Voluntary Trainee

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Volunteer • Part Time Volunteering Support Team

Sectors: environmental education, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Monday, 1st April 2019  

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is creating a county rich in wildlife for everyone. From our sparkling coastal beaches to buzzing woodlands and hillsides, Yorkshire is overflowing with incredible wildlife that we’re protecting and helping people to discover every day.

Our voluntary traineeships have been the first step of so many conservation careers and provide fantastic experience with specific development opportunities for anyone aiming to start a career in conservation. We’re offering a 12 month voluntary traineeship at our Potteric Carr nature reserve with our Inspiring People team. This part-time voluntary role will be for 3 days per week (9am-5pm) with occasional opportunities for weekend and evening tasks. Full training is provided (see below) with travel expenses and a training budget too.

Where will you be?

Potteric Carr nature reserve is a hidden gem within urban, industrial South Yorkshire. Surrounded by railway tracks, the M18 and sprawling Doncaster industrial estates this nature reserve is an oasis of reedbeds, woodlands and meadows brimming with wildlife and a haven of peace for local communities. Our visitors watch marsh harriers soar over reeds, uncover grass snakes warming themselves in the sunshine and hear the buzzing of insects as they play in our Discover Zone woodland.

Just off the junction 3 of the M18 Potteric Carr is part of a landscape scale patchwork of habitat, vital to wildlife. Visitors can walk over 8kms of footpaths and discover the amazing nature that calls this site home; from water voles to kingfishers. We want everyone to visit, who wouldn't? Welcoming thousands of visitors every year this site helps people to connect with the wildlife on their doorstep and we know it makes them feel better too with improved health and wellbeing. We welcome school groups and the public to join in with activities that showcase special species, protect their environment and inspire them to nurture nature in their own lives.

What will you do?

In this voluntary traineeship you will be part of our Inspiring People team who ensure that all our visitors have a fantastic experience when they come to us. This includes when they first hear about the nature reserve through our publicity, planning exciting activities for a range of audiences and delivering school visits, guided walks and workshops.

People engagement:

  • Planning self-led and guided activities for schools, families and adults
  • Delivering schools sessions with a focus on play, the environment and wildlife
  • Welcoming visitors and providing information about the site
  • Working with, and leading, other volunteers who help with events
  • Evaluating our people engagement offer and individual events


  • Creating posters to promote events locally
  • Developing content for newsletters, social media and our website
  • Building relationships with local schools which lead to bookings for nature reserve visits
  • Planning interpretation for the site to tell our stories

What will you gain?

This voluntary role aims to provide all the experience needed to pursue a career in environmental education, visitor experience or people engagement. You’ll help us to provide an inspiring experience for our visitors through marketing, visitor engagement, education and volunteer management.

We want you to have an inspiring experience too so as well as tons of hands-on experience outside and in the office we offer a wide range of development opportunities for our voluntary trainees. During your traineeship you will get:

  • Experience planning, promoting and delivering an events programme
  • Experience teaching schools sessions with a focus on linking nature and the environment to the curriculum
  • A training and development plan to help you identify what skills you want to gain and how
  • Regular development and support meetings with your volunteer manager
  • Review sessions throughout your traineeship with the Volunteering Development Team
  • Experience of working in a team and in an office
  • Experience of volunteer management
  • Access to our internal (and free) Volunteer Training Programme with sessions ranging from hedge laying to environmental law to bush craft skills
  • A competitive training budget for external training
  • Travel expenses
  • Training in first aid, membership recruitment, data protection, health and safety, safeguarding, manual handling, risk assessments and budgets

You’ll also be working from our south regional office and so will have the opportunity to meet and work with staff and volunteers who are looking after nature reserves, restoring rivers and connecting communities with nature. There will be many wider opportunities to gain experience with teams across Yorkshire Wildlife Trust during your traineeship.

What do you need?

Our trainees come with a wide variety of experiences already. Some come to us straight from education, others are looking for a change of career or to start a new chapter in their lives. The most important thing is a desire and willingness to learn.

The things we’re looking for in this role are:

  • A keen interest in outdoor learning and in inspiring children and young people about the natural world
  • A flexible and pro-active approach, capable of adapting to changing circumstances and needs of the group
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A willingness to work with people of all ages and abilities
  • A desire to be practical and hands-on, to get a bit muddy and to play!
  • Basic IT skills such as Word, Excel, Publisher and emails
  • Enjoys working well in a team and independently
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Good organisational and planning skills
  • Some experience of working with children and young people

It would be amazing if you also came to us with some of these:

  • A working knowledge of child development and learning styles
  • Visitor engagement experience
  • Marketing or social media knowledge
  • Knowledge of British wildlife
  • Knowledge of conservation

How to apply:

Application forms and a role description can be found on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website here:

Applications should be sent to by 9am on Monday 1st April. Interviews (after shortlisting) will be on the 8th April at Potteric Carr nature reserve.

Please mention when responding to this ad.