Dec 11 2020

Volunteering – What it means to me?

Volunteering for the Woodland Trust – What it means to me?


I’ve only recently started volunteering with the Woodland Trust at Brynau woods, as a volunteer warden. My reason for volunteering is for several reasons, the first being my passion for nature itself. As a person who appreciates what’s around me and doing my little bit for the planet gives me great satisfaction. Secondly, as a person who has suffered with anxiety previously, the lockdown has put huge pressure on our coping mechanisms, especially for me as I’ve been working from home since March.

I’m a great believer in volunteering, and 20 years ago it helped me move from manufacturing in the third sector. I strongly believe that without the volunteering I would not have had the experience to move sectors.

I currently work full time as an Employment Mentor and aspects of my role is helping people build their confidence to help them gain employment. Volunteering is one of the options I often discuss with my clients. It’s not just about practical work, volunteering offers so much more, and for me it’s helping with my wellbeing, physically and mentally. I’ve met several new volunteers and have instantly made friends with them, even setting up a WhatsApp page for us to communicate.

For me it’s simple, helping nature in the outdoors, working with fellow minded people and also learning on the job through either courses or people with experience passing on their knowledge. Only yesterday I had the opportunity to work with cattle on the site, which was an experience that I never thought possible. I’ve learnt so much in such a short period of time. My only regret is that I never did this 30 years ago!



Cattle at Brynau, photo by John Evans.



Article by John Evans, Volunteer Warden at Brynau, Neath, South Wales.

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  • Gavin Thomas

    As a recent volunteer to the Woodland Trust myself, it is great to hear another persons thoughts on it. Brilliant article John

    December 13, 2020 at 9:24 am

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