Ellen Whitby, 1st Year Bsc Zoology
What volunteering have you been involved with (FXU or other)?
With the FXU I have been involved in several volunteering activities. I spent a day at Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary in Looe where I took part in creating enrichment for the monkeys, and assisting in constructing things to go into their enclosures. I also volunteered at The Lost Gardens of Heligan for Wild Week where I was involved in educating young people and getting them interested in nature. Here I and other volunteers took part in arts and crafts activities and den building. Other activities I have been involved in with the FXU includes attending a Mammal Marine Rescue Course at the Silver Dolphin Dive Centre, and partaking in the Gylly Beach beach clean.
I have been involved in other volunteering outside of the university such as 6 months work at a local children’s zoo which included feeding the animals, constructing enclosures and general animal welfare and care. I have also volunteered at my local vets, at the Dogs Trust, as a young guide leader, and I have worked with the National Parks in the Lake District. I have volunteered at Lower Moss Wood Educational Reserve and Wildlife Hospital which was a great experience. Here, I helped with the care of in injured wildlife. My duties included assessing and treating the animals, feeding them, cleaning their enclosures and caring for them until they could be released. In the summer of 2014 I will also be going out to Cyprus to volunteer on the SPOT turtle conservation project, which is in close association with Exeter University.
What motivates you to volunteer?
I am highly motivated to volunteer not only because I thoroughly enjoy doing something outside of studying, but also because I gain great experience and valuable skills. Doing a range of volunteering helps me to decide what I am most interested in and so what I want to do in the future.
What have you taken away from volunteering whilst at University?
Through a range of different volunteering I have broadened my experience and knowledge of various aspects of conservation and animal care. I have also realised that I really enjoy working with children and getting them engaged with nature and wildlife.
Volunteering at university has shown me that to have a career in what you want to do, volunteering is extremely important, and there are endless opportunities the FXU provide for students to build up their experience and skill base.