Charity lottery helps volunteers celebrate

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have helped Northumberland Wildlife Trust recognise the efforts of its hardworking volunteers this week by supporting its 2019 Volfest.
Volfest 2019 - Fiona Dryden

Volunteer Mary Lee receiving her Volfest 2019 volunteering award from Duncan Hoyle, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Estates Officer. Image by: Fiona Dryden.

As a volunteer organisation, the wildlife charity relies heavily on the invaluable efforts of its volunteers without whom its work would be 100% harder. The annual Volfest is Chief Executive Mike Pratt’s opportunity to lead the Trust in its thanks for all their hard work.

This year’s event was held at St Mary’s Village Hall in Stannington and included updates on its current top six projects.

As part of the celebrations, 138 volunteers who had individually clocked up 70+ volunteering hours during 2018 each received an honorary membership courtesy of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. As a special thank you, the efforts of two volunteers were specifically recognised with an additional award.

Mary Lee and Joe Christie who live in Morpeth and Newcastle have volunteered for the Trust for 14 and 9 years respectively. 

Joe, who lives in Newcastle, undertakes practical conservation work across the wildlife charity’s 60 reserves, is a member of its St Nicholas Park Gardening Group, assists with resource preparation and is a volunteer with Osprey Watch and the Restoring Ratty water vole projects at Kielder.

Mary clocked up an amazing 1,175 hours during 2018. She volunteers in the Lookout Café at the Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre two days a week, helps with the Hauxley bird counts, undertakes a wide range of practical estates tasks, monitors birds in the north of Kielder as part of the Kielderhead Wildwood project and has been a reserve warden at the Weetslade Country Park for over 11 years.

Speaking about the event, Duncan Hoyle, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Estates Officer said: “The players of People’s Postcode Lottery are huge supporters of the Trust so it is great that they have enabled us to thank our volunteers and their enthusiasm with free memberships and prizes.”