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Park Life – Get involved in Staff Volunteering

Alert for managers! Sign up now – new Get Reconnected dates announced…

Get Re-Connected, North Ayrshire Council’s volunteering initiative for staff. This provides volunteering opportunities for our workforce and gives back to our communities. These events are available for managers to book, allowing teams to Re-Connect, perhaps due to remote working or to welcome a new member of the team, whatever the reason why not disconnect for a few hours in order to Re-Connect.

  • Tuesday 3 September (9.30am until 12.30pm) – Volunteering at Eglinton Community Gardens – email Ranger Andrew to get involved:
  • Wednesday 2 October (9.30am until 12.30pm) – Volunteering at Eglinton Community Gardens – email Ranger Graeme to get involved:
  • Wednesday 23 October (9.30am until 12.30pm) – Volunteering at Eglinton Community Gardens – email Ranger Graeme to get involved:

Volunteering provides the perfect opportunity to meet-up and reconnect outdoors. So why not take advantage of the Council’s volunteering policy and find an opportunity for your team?

Whether you’re missing colleagues, want to welcome a new team member or simply would like to give back to your community, learn more about the Council’s employee volunteering programme on Connects which allows for up to 2 days a year per employee.

Over at Eglinton Country Park, colleagues from the Council’s Communications team recently helped out Ranger Graeme and Modern Apprentice Coran Clarke to clear a less-used pathway that had become overgrown and it was here that we learned of other great local volunteering groups operating in the park.

Countryside Ranger Graeme Walla said: “On behalf of all the Countryside Rangers, I would like to share a sincere THANK YOU so much to staff and our communities who are giving up their time to volunteer with us.

“We appreciate each and every one of you who have done a fantastic job supporting us and generously giving up your time to help us this year.

“From a Ranger Service perspective, we are so appreciative to have the extra hands needed to help us keep our green spaces as accessible as possible here across North Ayrshire.

“There’s opportunities all over, however if we use the paths at Eglinton as a recent example, you can see how beneficial this has been, especially with the launch of the STEM trail as more visitors come to the park. We welcome all abilities and it’s a great way to boost your physical and mental health and wellbeing too; being active outdoors in the fresh air, whilst doing something so worthwhile – it’s a win-win!”

Friday Conservation Volunteers group photo at Eglinton Country Park
Countryside Ranger Sallie smiling as clearing branches at Eglinton Community Garden
Countryside Ranger Sallie clearing branches at Eglinton Community Garden
Thank you to all of our staff who have helped our Countryside Rangers by volunteering over the past year
Thank you to all of our staff who have helped our Countryside Rangers by volunteering over the past year
The Conservation Volunteers

Ranger Sallie from North Ayrshire Ranger Service recently invited us along during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) to Eglinton Community Gardens 🪴 to give everyone a snapshot of what Friday volunteering at Eglinton Country Park…

Meeting for three hours every Friday from 9.30am, the Conservation Volunteers comprise local volunteers of all ages interested in gardening, biodiversity, conservation and giving back to their communities whilst enjoying great company 🐝

Preparing for a busy summer, the Friday team were joined by the Scottish Wildlife Trust‘s Nectar Networks and Eadha Enterprises and worked in the gardens preparing beds, weeding and working on new raised beds with a rainwater tree and wildflower plant-watering system 🐸

Ranger Sallie shares: “We are always on the lookout for new volunteers across the park and we utilised Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight to everyone the power of people coming together to develop new skills, meet new people and learn about and care for, the vibrant flora and fauna we are lucky enough to have here on our doorstep 🌦️

“Time spent outdoors really is so good for the mind and being in nature has proven health and wellbeing benefits and we love to champion nature connectivity for improving and maintaining just that.

“Our park and gardens are big and are hungry for helpers who share an interest in conservation, an interest in the outdoors and value the company of others even if it’s in the rain or sunshine! All ages and abilities are welcome to be part of the dynamic and fun volunteering. Whether you’re a staff member or someone in the community, we’re always on the look-out for more helping hands.

“We’re also on a mission to reduce waste ♻️ where we can too, so, if you’ve been working on your own gardening or landscaping project and have materials, seeds, bark or other materials that you no longer require, drop us an email as we might just be able to reuse/recycle and repurpose them.”

If you have recently taken part in a volunteering day and want to spotlight your combined commitment to focus, passion and inspiration, email: for your chance to be featured next time!

Could you spare some time to help Monday’s Path Stewardship volunteers?

Come rain or shine, Eglinton’s Path Stewardship volunteers are another group in need of helping hands – out in force every Monday morning to keep the park looking its best. Volunteering a few hours with them would be a real help as we approach summer.

Currently on the look-out for more volunteers, the group are looking for others who want to give back to their local country park by rolling up their sleeves and getting the wellies on for some action!

Not afraid of mud or the odd shower, with lots of fun banter, the group have been going for almost two years now and are currently focusing on improving flooded areas, picking up litter and maintaining pathways.

A great help to our Ranger Service they recently tackled the path near the Ice House, clearing the drain, making a run-off channel and building the path back up again and helped to clear the pathway between Eglinton’s Suspension Bridge and the community gardens.

One volunteer said: “It really is such a great bunch of people. Since joining I’ve made some lifelong friends. There’s a mix of ages and abilities, we learn about the park and local biodiversity and also have a brilliant sense of achievement after the Monday session. There’s also adult learning opportunities too as I recently got the chance to do my outdoor first aid certificate.”

The group meet from 9.30am at the shelter opposite the main car park, and the Park Rangers are on hand to help coordinate tasks and give the volunteers access to the tools and equipment needed. If you want to get involved, the group would be thrilled to have more hands on deck so we can keep the park’s pathways looking their best.

They’re a friendly bunch and are looking forward to recruiting more members this summer, so why not take the leap? Email: if you want to get involved!

Advantages of joining the volunteers include…

🌿 Getting to know your local country park better
😀 Meeting new people and a way to add structure to your week
🐝 Improved overall mood after taking part
🌲 A great way to keep fit outdoors
🦔 Something for all abilities
☕ Mid-morning break and cuppa
🌿 Weekly volunteering opportunity every Monday, 9.30am – midday!

Thank you to the incredible colleagues and community volunteers featured, we appreciate you and all that you do!

Group photo of Path Stewardship volunteers meet every Monday morning at Eglinton Country Park
Path Stewardship volunteers meet every Monday morning at Eglinton Country Park
Path volunteer with gardening maintenance tools and wheelbarrow
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