The summer holidays of 2012 saw me applying for a few hours voluntary work at The Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran to augment my varied work experience, little did I know then how it would help towards my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and my University application.
My tummy was churning the morning I turned up for my first shift and I nearly asked Mum to turn the car round and head back to the sanctuary of our holiday cottage near Newport, Pembs. I need not have worried; everyone made me feel very welcome and all were very patient whilst showing me the ropes. I found myself dealing with all sorts of issues, the worst being the till on the reception; one poor customer had to wait for ages whilst I tackled the dreaded machine. I managed to work out how much change he was due but the till was having nothing of it and kept declining my input – Ah the wonders of modern technology.
I became a past master on directions to the various activities on offer and found I quite enjoyed the interaction with the members of the public; this has given me some much needed confidence. Having enjoyed my time at the Centre I decided to continue my volunteering this summer and then found that I could use this experience to fulfil the “Charity work” section for my Gold D of E Award. An added bonus has been that I included my time at Cilgerran on my UCAS form whilst applying to read Biology. Amazingly I was offered an interview for one Uni as they were very impressed with my experiences with The Wildlife Trust – who would have thought that this would have been the outcome when I first applied over 2 years ago. It just goes to prove that you never know what opportunities can arise from giving up a few hours of your time. I will be heading back to Cilgerran each Summer (if they will have me) and yes I finally mastered that pesky till!!
Georgie Hatherell December 2013