Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wild Week summer school programme Volunteers

We have been running a very successful Wild Week summer school programme at Paignton Zoo for the past 13 years and due to its popularity we are planning to repeat it this year.  Wild Weeks are for children aged 8 to 12 years old and provide a great mix of behind the scenes animal experiences, art and craft activities and generally having fun.  The programme runs for 4 weeks over the summer holidays, from the 28th of July to 22nd August and children attend every day for one week.

None of this is possible without the invaluable contribution of a dedicated team of volunteers. These volunteers are an essential element to ensure the weeks run smoothly by assisting our staff to manage the group and run the activities.  For those who are interested, there is also chance to get involved beforehand in the organisation of the weeks and develop the programme of activities.

Volunteering with Paignton Zoo Wild Weeks is the ideal opportunity for those who wish to go on to work in the education sector to gain vital experience of working with children and to develop their CV.  It is also the perfect way for people interested in conservation to see parts of the Zoo which are usually off-show to the public.

We are currently recruiting volunteers for Wild Week 2014 and are able to offer two types of volunteer opportunities this year: 
  • Support Volunteers who support Wild Week across the period of a week, or more, from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday (various dates through July and August)
  • Development Volunteers who will be involved in the organisation leading up to the Wild Weeks as well as assisting during the weeks themselves.  The development role is ideal for those who would like to get a wider volunteer experience.  It will cover a longer period of involvement, which can be flexible to suit the individual, but ideally 10 hours per week (more if possible) during June and July and at least two of the Wild Weeks themselves so that you can see how the activities you helped to plan have worked and make any necessary changes for following weeks.

All those who take part are given a certificate for their portfolio and can request a personal reference which can be used as valuable evidence for your future career. Due to the nature of the role, all Wild Week volunteers will need to be DBS checked.

Please register your interest by Friday 25th April, by completing the online form here (link to Wild Week Volunteerform) and sending it to us by email or post with your CV and a covering letter outlining which Wild Week volunteer opportunity you are interested in, why you would like to volunteer and what relevant experience you have. 

You can email your application to education@paignonzoo.org.uk using the reference EDU01 in the subject heading, or send it by post to: Michelle Youd, Education Office Supervisor, Education Department, Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 7EU.

You will need to register your interest by Friday 25th April.

Please note: Due to the volume of applications we receive we are only able to contact you if you are shortlisted.  If you are shortlisted you will be invited to take part in an informal discussion on volunteering by telephone.

If you are successful, we take up 2 references (one of whom must be able to comment on your suitability to working with children) and you are also asked to attend an essential training day on Saturday 14th June to enable you to volunteer with us.  During this day we will be able to tell you more about the activities on offer, provide the necessary child protection and health and safety training and you will have a chance to get know the team you will be volunteering with. 

If you have further enquiries about these roles please contact Michelle Youd in Education on 08444 474 2224.

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