Join the Dream Team
Couple tell why they enjoy being part of Carymoor
Published: 23rd Oct 2019
Husband and wife dream team John and Hilary Parry help with all kinds of tasks at Carymoor, from conservation work to supporting our education team. We asked them about their experience of volunteering...
How and why did you first start volunteering at Carymoor?
Hilary: “When we moved to Somerset five years ago we were looking for something to get involved with in our retirement that supported conservation. We found Carymoor online and came to take a look.”
John: “We wanted something we could do together without being in each others' pockets. We each have different skills and we get to use those to the full at Carymoor.”
What do you get involved in?
Hilary: “The first thing we helped with was tidying up the orchard and tree trail. John cleared overgrown vegetation and pruned and I identified the trees and made labels to help people learn about them. Now I mostly help out with school groups that visit and at family days. The education team often need an extra pair of hands to set up for the next activity, clear up, or help with the children. I’ve also had the chance to paint historic pictures and symbols on the walls of the roundhouse. I love the variety, it’s never boring.”
John: “Maintenance is needed all the time on such a big site so I help keep things up together, such as mowing grass to encourage the wildflowers, keeping trails clear and remaking willow fencing. I also help support students from Farleigh College when they come to the nature reserve each week to take part in conservation work, and I recently became a trustee for Carymoor.”
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
Hilary: “I’ve learnt such a lot. It has been and continues to be an absolute joy. The staff are fantastic – so knowledgeable and willing to share their enthusiasm – and I enjoy working with the children. It’s a lovely place to be and gives us the chance to be part of something that is helping conservation in our own little way.”
John: “I’ve learnt a lot. The Carymoor team have given me training in all kinds of techniques. I enjoy the variety and the fact it gives me the opportunity to practically support Carymoor’s aims.”
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Hilary: “Don't think that you haven’t got anything to offer. We didn't have the knowledge that we have now; you’re given guidance on how to do things. And even if you can only offer an hour, it can be put to good use. It’s just such great fun.”
John: “Come and have a look. There are lots of ways to get involved so you can find something that you’re interested in, and your efforts will be appreciated because volunteers are vitally important for Carymoor.”
Interested in getting involved at Carymoor? Visit www.carymoor.volunteermakers.org to find out about the wide range of volunteering opportunities on offer.
If you’d like to learn new skills in conservation our FREE Green Workout course is a great introduction. Running on five consecutive Wednesdays from 6th November to 4th December 2019, the programme gives you the chance to receive practical instruction on tasks from coppicing to hedge laying. No previous experience is necessary; you just need to be a Somerset resident. To find out more click here.
We can offer this course for free thanks to funding from SS&L.
To read an interview with volunteer Claire Trapp, who started out on our Green Workout programme, click here.
Pictured above: Hilary (centre wearing red head scarf) helping out at our Go Wild summer holiday club. John (right) pressing apples with a student working towards his Duke of Edinbugh award.