Having graduated from university in July 2011, I set about trying to find a job- a process which took a lot longer than I had anticipated! I soon realised that sitting in front of a computer screen all day every day searching for jobs was not doing me any favours, and I needed a change of scenery in the form of some voluntary work. A chance encounter with Ranger Pete at Greenock’s Tall Ships event put me in touch with Judy, the Senior Ranger at the Greenock Cut Centre. Judy asked me about my interests and suggested activities for me to take part in accordingly, tailoring everything to my needs. All of the staff were extremely friendly, helpful and encouraging, and as a result I began to volunteer more and more. I took part in surveys of butterfly, field vole and wetland bird abundance; I got involved in some practical work making bird, bat and butterfly boxes, and also helped with educational programmes, assisting with activities such as rock pooling and pond dipping.
As a result of my voluntary work at the park, I gained new skills and knowledge, which in turn improved my confidence. Being more active caused my fitness to improve and I even managed to secure a job in the field as a result of the experience I gained. Most importantly, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and would highly recommend it!