People’s Postcode Lottery players helping to connect volunteers

Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is helping to keep a group of wildlife volunteers socially connected during the current coronavirus lockdown.
Volfest 2019 - Fiona Dryden

Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, at Volfest 2019 with many of the volunteers who are accessing the Facebook group. Image by: Fiona Dryden.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust currently has 335 volunteers, who last year clocked up an amazing 29,354 hours helping the wildlife charity conserve wildlife and green spaces in the region.

For some, volunteering forms a large part of their lives with many volunteering multiple days each week. The Trust recognised immediately that, for some, social isolation would be a challenge as the opportunity to meet with people had been withdrawn.

Now, however, support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is allowing a member of staff to manage a Facebook group created specifically to help the volunteers during this critical time. The group, open to NWT members is a great opportunity for them to talk about anything - how they are feeling during lockdown, how they are passing their time, photographs, any film or TV recommendations, even recipes.

Speaking about this support, Mike Prat, Northumberland Wildlife Chief Executive said: “Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported our volunteer work over the past 10 years - from clothing and l travel expenses to equipment and a fully functioning workshop and our annual Volfest celebrations, so it comes as no surprise that during these difficult times, the players are supporting our volunteers.

“We shut down volunteering in March, without much warning, having had an action-packed month planned, leaving those volunteers due to carry out their activities feeling a bit lost - hence the setting up of the Facebook group."

Mike concluded: “Our volunteering programme is very social with a lot of people come out for the interaction and camaraderie. We are hopeful that this Facebook group can fill a space in the void during this really hard time.”