As part of this year’s National Volunteers’ Week (1 - 7 June), Cumberland Council is reminding residents of some of the volunteering opportunities available within their area.
There is the opportunity to help communities travel, walk and improve their local habitat. Here are some ways to get involved and support your local area:
Workington Nature Partnership
Workington Nature Partnership is a joint venture between Workington Town Council and Cumberland Council.
It is designed to support the natural environment in and around Workington by undertaking a wide range of conservation activities of the town's nature reserves, parks, open spaces, woodlands and access networks.
The initiative provides a great opportunity for volunteers of all ages and abilities to get involved in improving the land on their doorstep.
Some comments from volunteers’ showcase the benefits of the initiative:
“I started volunteering with Workington Nature Partnership about seven years ago when I left work. It was an opportunity to meet new people and learn more about the surrounding environment. It’s good being part of a team whilst helping to improve the community we live in.”
“I like volunteering because it gives us an opportunity to contribute our skills and knowledge to important issues and preservation of wildlife habitats and their beneficial effects it gives us as volunteers and the general public who can see and enjoy the open spaces we maintain.”
The partnership is always looking for volunteers to help manage their nature reserves and open spaces. Full training and all equipment are provided.
If you would be interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07355 032780.
The partnership runs several volunteer sessions at nature reserves and green spaces in and around Workington. Find out more and sign up via their website.
Community Transport Service
Cumberland Council’s Community Transport service has a team of over 200 volunteer drivers and co-ordinators providing around 33 voluntary social car schemes throughout Cumbria, providing journeys for people who need to do the weekly shop, see the doctor, or just to visit friends. These volunteers help over 1,300 customers with their transport needs every year, with over 5,300 trips provided during 2022-23.
The council is on the look-out for more people to give up some of their spare time to be volunteer drivers or scheme co-ordinators. All expenses are reimbursed. As well as learning new skills and providing a lifeline for people without access to transport, signing up as a volunteer is a good way to meet new people and give something back to the community.
Volunteer drivers are needed across the county in the following areas:
- Millom/ Haverigg.
- Whitehaven /St Bees/Egremont/Cleator Moor/Frizington/Arlecdon.
Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Katy Wood, Voluntary Transport Officer, by calling 07788 396194.
Wellbeing Walk volunteers
In association with the Ramblers, Wellbeing Walks have been run successfully throughout Cumbria for more than 10 years.
Walking can help you to maintain a healthy weight, keep your muscles and bones healthy and increase your cardiovascular fitness. In addition to this walking is great for our mental health by allowing us to connect with others if walking with friends, with nature, it reduces stress, increases energy levels and even help us sleep better at night. Plus, it is free, you don’t need any special equipment and it is good for the environment!
Wellbeing Walks are led by both Cumberland Council staff, staff from partner organisation and volunteers from across the county.
In partnership with the Ramblers, Cumbria is now a Wellbeing Walks super partner which is led by Active Cumbria. This agreement allows Active Cumbria to become an umbrella organisation enabling them to support the many volunteers.
Volunteers are key to the success of Wellbeing Walks. Leading walks can be extremely rewarding. It is a great way to meet new people and build friendships in your own community and of course a fantastic, free and easy way to be healthy and be active.
All volunteers complete their Ramblers Wellbeing Walks training before they can lead a walk. Once walk leaders begin to lead their walks they continue to be supported by Active Cumbria and Cumberland Council staff.
Wellbeing Walks can be anything from 10 minutes to 1.5 hours, all walks are accessible, are over easy terrain and are walked at a steady pace to suit everyone. The walks are very welcoming and new walkers always get the warmest of welcomes. Walks are held weekly or fortnightly.
Within Carlisle, the Tuesday Trundles is a programme of volunteer led walks which are also supported by Cumberland Council. These graded walks can be between 3 and 5 miles and are 2 hours in length, starting at 10.30am. The Trundles walks are within more rural locations and are a great way to discover some new walks in the local area.
To find a Wellbeing Walk in your area please click here.
If you are interested in becoming a walk leader please register via the Active Cumbria website.
For more information, please contact Aileen Grant, Development Officer, Active Cumbria by calling 07825 823443 or email email@example.com.
Or contact Helen Tickner, Communities and Participation Officer, Cumberland Council, by calling 07935 001511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.