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Maureen’s Story

Volunteer Maureen shares her story about volunteering at Castle Semple with the Conservation Volunteers and the Ranger Service.

I started volunteering a in January 2016 after completing Branching out and achieving the John Muir award as part of a group. Our group consisted of people suffering from mental health issues and I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder with social anxiety and depression.

Participating in the Branching out project helped me improve my social skills, increased my confidence and self worth. It allowed me to learn new skills at a pace I could manage with like minded people, some of them I knew from previous groups.
Following Branching out a few of us decided to carry on doing work out in the fresh air, learning new skills, in an environment we knew and felt comfortable with.

Volunteering, working alongside the Rangers and feeling part of something continues to feed my self compassion and maintain my self confidence and worth. I have learned more about our environment and biodiversity.

I enjoy working in the open air in the country park. Rhoddie bashing, tree tubing, making pathways and being part of the team helping keep the public spaces fresh and clean. Painting the white stones and litter bins at Castle Semple visitors centre was one of the most tedious but comical jobs, everyone passing by stopped to give us advice on how to paint!
Making bird boxes, bat boxes, Christmas decorations, planters, were all very rewarding and enjoyable.

I certainly feel part of a team and look forward to my volunteering on a Thursday afternoon.
Of course one of the best parts of the afternoon has got to be the tea and biscuits after our scheduled task.

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