Thursday, February 7, 2013

Zoo Education Intern Volunteers

Paignton Zoo Education Intern Volunteers
Paignton Zoo receives thousands of visitors each year and is an Educational, Scientific and Conservation Charity. The Education Department is responsible for all formal and informal education within the Zoo and encompasses the graphics team who produce Zoo interpretation.

Paignton Zoo has volunteer opportunities available for up to 10 Education Intern volunteers for Spring and Summer 2013.

The role of Education Intern volunteer provides the opportunity for hands-on volunteer experience in one of Devon’s leading conservation organisations. Based at the Zoo, Education Intern volunteers will be involved in all aspects of assisting the Education Staff and engaging with the general public to highlight current conservation issues, in particular the annual EAZA campaign (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria), which this year focuses on large animals of South East Asia. More information can be found at

The Education Intern volunteer role is for approximately 6 months (March – September 2013) and training will be provided. Paignton Zoo is open every day and most Education Intern volunteers usually offer two days a week, starting at 10am and finishing by 4pm. The Education Intern volunteer role covers a seven day week.

Please register your interest in the first instance by sending your CV and a covering letter, outlining why you would like to take up this role, when you are available to volunteer and what relevant experience you have.

Please send e-mails to If registering your interest by e-mail you MUST include EDU01 in the subject heading.

You can also register you interest by post, addressed to:
Gill Snell
Education Officer
Education Department,
Paignton Zoo,
Totnes Road,
Paignton TQ4 7EU

Tel: 0844 474 2224

Those wishing to register their interest in the Education Intern volunteer role can do so throughout the year by following the information above.

The Education Intern volunteer role is a voluntary role and as such Paignton Zoo cannot provide any financial support or expenses to those accepted for this volunteer role. However full training will be provided and a reference will be given at the end of the placement.
Mission Statement
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is an education, scientific and conservation charity dedicated to protecting our global wildlife heritage and inspiring in people a respect for animals, plants and the environment.
Aim of Volunteering Role
  • To gain experience and understanding of the work of a Zoo education department.
  • To communicate “value added” information about Paignton Zoo to the public and to contribute to people’s enjoyment of their visit to the Zoo.
  • To raise awareness of important environmental issues.
  • To apply own personal skills and take ownership of a series of tasks or a project.
  • To reflect on the training and experiences gained throughout the placement.
  • To assist with the delivery of EAZA campaign activities.
  • To raise awareness of the conservation issues relating to the EAZA campaign and help raise funds for conservation.
  • Provide a sense of welcome to visitors and help make their visit a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Motivate people of all ages to respect and care for the environment through a programme of talks, face to face encounters and structured public activities. These may include games, craft activities or specimen handling.
  • Devise fun activities and create supporting resources that encourage people to engage with conservation.
  • Encourage visitors to take part in activities and support them so that they get the most out of them.
  • Inform visitors of the opportunities available to contribute money to the EAZA Campaign.
  • Be available to answers questions about the Zoo and to promote the Zoo’s educational role, conservation work and activities.
  • Undertake training and keep informed of key issues and information.
  • Judge the effectiveness of activities in contributing to the visitor experience and to modify them to best meet audience needs.
  • Aid the interpretation of exhibits within the Zoo through face to face engagement with visitors.
  • Assist with Zoo Education Department’s special projects e.g. The Big Bang, National Science & Engineering Week, Nigeria Conservation Week, and Zoo Vet Apprentice/Veterinary Footsteps
  • To help support the Zoo’s Event Team volunteers (14-18 year olds), many of whom are carrying out their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
  • Assist with the Zoo’s Junior Members Club, including visits to other sites.
  • Conduct visitor studies and surveys, evaluate these and compile reports.
  • Keep a personal record of all activities and numbers of participants throughout the duration of the Internship.
  • Assist with general Education Department duties, volunteering as part of a team.
  • Liaise closely with Education staff and other Zoo Volunteers and attend team meetings.
  • Contribute to Paignton Zoo’s library of video and photographic images.
Most Education Intern volunteers offer two days per week and generally start their day at 10am when the Zoo opens. Finish time depends on individual travel requirements and work commitments elsewhere, but is usually around 4pm. Education Intern volunteers are required 7 days per week, based around the busiest times in the Zoo.
Place of Duty:
A lot of volunteering after the initial training and planning period will be based around the Zoo, talking to people. There will be a lot of outdoor tasks associated with this role as the Zoo is a large site.
Education Officers
None provided
Skills required
Good communication, presentation and organisational skills.
Creativity for designing engaging activities.
Confidence, tact and assertiveness are a must as you may be approaching strangers or giving a talk to a larger group.
Willingness to engage with people.
General knowledge of wildlife supported by an interest in conservation and zoos, and the motivation to learn more.
Ability to relate to a wide age and ability range including special needs.
Good IT and record keeping skills.
Materials required:
Information pack supplied.
Please wear comfortable shoes; you will be provided with a polo shirt and sweatshirt with a small deposit of £5.00 required at your induction.
A dress code applies to all Education staff and volunteers which includes only skirts or trousers in black, dark grey or dark blue. Denim is not allowed.
Health and Safety Requirements
Must sign to say you have read fire and escaped animal procedure and any relevant risk assessments.

Please note that all volunteers for this role must be age 18 years or over
Contact details: or
Tel: 0844 474 2222 or 0844 474 2224

Available at
Please mention Zoo News Digest should you apply for this post
Please also consider advertising your vacancy here in Zoo Jobs. Simply send it as an attachment or within the body of your email to 
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