Volunteers Week: Volunteering with Don Catchment Rivers Trust

Jayne Mann


Over 6,000 people volunteered with Rivers Trusts in 2016, they are a huge part of the Rivers Trust movement and without them, we wouldn't be where we are today. Today is the start of volunteers week and to show our gratitude to all the volunteers that have helped us out over the last decade, we made a short video about what it is like to volunteer with one of our Rivers Trusts - Don Catchment Rivers Trust. The film features the volunteers from Don Catchment Rivers Trust (DCRT). This year so far, with the help of their volunteers, DCRT have filled over 1000 bags of litter from the catchment's riversides and waterways. Volunteers have also been out on the Moss Valley on practical conservation days to restore its biodiversity and heritage value. Starring in the film is Rowena, a long-standing volunteer, who has been volunteering with the Trust for almost 18 months. Here's her story about what it's like being a Rivers Trust volunteer...
I began volunteering with DCRT about 18 months ago. I'd recently retired and heard a talk about its work at a local Doncaster heritage group. It sounded interesting, so I went along. The great thing about volunteering with DCRT is the flexibility. They arrange 1-2 volunteer days each week at various locations along the Don so you can choose where and when you want to join them. I try and attend at least once a week when I’m free. We generally litter pick along areas of the river or canal, but sometimes, you can put on waders to clear areas in the river or be asked to help with invasive species clearance. There are also opportunities to do more physical work like stile maintenance or more intense vegetation management work. You'll never know what you might find while working - from shopping trollies to car pieces, even the occasional banknote! I thoroughly enjoy my time with DCRT. The group is so friendly and welcoming, you feel part of the team from the 1st day. I’ve met so many interesting new people, made friends and learnt so much about plants and flowers, birds and even bats. The work is easy and being outside getting exercise and fresh air is brilliant. The satisfaction from improving the riverbank for others to enjoy is immense. I would recommend volunteering to everyone with any amount of spare time on their hands. In particular, working outdoors with a group of like-minded people is great for your general and mental health and it helps you get the most enjoyment out of life.
Watch the video about the group that Rowena volunteers with:
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