Duke of Edinburgh
Our Amazing Experience of Volunteering at Chester Zoo
For the volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award, some of the Bronze, Silver and Gold participants have been volunteering at Chester Zoo! They were volunteering as part of ‘Visitor Engagement’ which is really is a wonderful experience to boost confidence and curiosity as well as the participants learning a lot about conservation. The NMC is extremely grateful to Chester Zoo for providing this experience for our young people in such an accessible and friendly way.
The volunteering role for our participants involved being stationed outside an animal enclosure or in one of the houses, talking to zoo visitors about the animals and answering any questions. The areas our D of E group covered included, the lemurs, the otters, the lions, Jaguar house and Realm of the Red Ape.
The zoo really went above and beyond to make the volunteer experience as rounded and inclusive as possible. Each of our participants were assigned a ‘youth champion volunteer’ to assist and encourage the young person to participate to the best of their ability. The zoo provided a very well thought out and full volunteer program which included: training, project work and a presentation as well as going into the zoo for ‘visitor engagement’. The D of E participants were also provided with official Chester Zoo Volunteer uniform which they were very excited about!
Some of our Volunteers
I’m doing my Gold DofE award and absolute love volunteering at Chester Zoo! As ‘Visitor Engagement’ we talk to visitors, answer questions and just help to make sure they have a good day. It is perfect for me to help improve my confidence – especially being in public in my electric wheelchair. I really enjoy meeting all the different types of people and making them smile. I enjoy volunteering at the zoo so much I’m hoping to carry on volunteering once I finish DofE.
This experience has helped improve my communication skills and given me confidence in myself and abilities. I have gained fabulous experiences, great connections and I've learned so much about new and interesting topics.
I am super grateful to the NMC and Chester Zoo for giving me this amazing opportunity to volunteer and its hopefully shown people how having a disability doesn’t have to stop you from doing amazing things!
Volunteering at Chester Zoo, has given me the confidence to speak to people that I don’t know and to interact with the general public.
I have enjoyed learning about the animals and being able to relay that information to people.
It was good because it gave me more confidence and it helped me learn about climate change.
I had a great time volunteering at Chester Zoo and I hope there will be more opportunities like it in the future.