Deborah Pearcey, Volunteer Officer

It was that time again, July 19th, when volunteers and staff could get together over a burger and sausage or two to chat and solidify friendships.

There was concern that the British weather would not play ball and drive us, unwillingly, into the Volunteer Hub, but the weather Gods smiled on us and it turned out pretty hot. The sunshine lotion sure got a workout!

Everyone who could help, set up the tables and chairs in the Jubilee Garden, where we could enjoy the flora and fauna for the next couple of hours.

All of the tables in the Volunteer Hub were groaning under the weight of the delicious food that some of the volunteers kindly prepared for us to share. It was a truly lovely spread! Thank you to each of you.

Now for the really hard work. Gareth and Nicola were on the decks, I mean grill, ensuring that volunteers and staff alike were kept fed and watered and didn’t have to wait too long to get stuck in. The speed at which they worked would have put many well-known fast-food chains to shame! Top marks, both.

The best part of the day was seeing volunteers and staff sitting, eating, chatting, and sharing jokes in the sunshine. A volunteer, who shall remain nameless, told me that he volunteers for another organisation where volunteers and staff do not mix at all. There is no chance of that happening at Nene Park Trust - we love getting to know our volunteers. Quite a few volunteers shared feedback on why they volunteer with us, which included these snippets:

“It fills my time with something fascinating to do and lovely people to meet. Particularly Amanda at Longthorpe Tower.”

“I love feeling useful and meeting new friends.”

“That I am giving something back to the community.”

“Being part of a team again following retirement and I feel positive about the contribution I’m giving back.”

Andrew MacDermott, Deputy CEO, kindly escaped the chains of his desk to give a speech thanking the volunteers and staff for what they do to contribute to the smooth running of the Park. He also thanked the Development Team for arranging, setting up and looking after the barbecue.

It was a great day and we’re already looking forward to the Volunteer BBQ 2024 where we can once again show our appreciation of the time and effort all of our volunteers contribute to Nene Park Trust and Ferry Meadows.