From little acorns

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.

George volunteering at the Welsh Wildlife Centre

George volunteering at the Welsh Wildlife Centre

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