Seb started his working life in a research lab after graduating, but found himself missing the great outdoors, so he became an Education volunteer at WWT.
'I think that if you want to develop a career in ecological education or communication, you need as broad a range of experience as you can get, to help you stand out. WWT is a really great place, and I've learnt so much about wildlife and about interacting with people.'
Bill volunteers as part of the Welcome team at one of our centres.
'I spend my Wednesdays at WWT chatting to people in the foyer, conducting walks and talks, and generally putting myself in the front line, so to speak. There's a great pleasure in being able to provide wonderful experiences for people, and to pass knowledge on to them.'
Emma is a weekend volunteer supervisor, setting up activities in education such as bug hunts, crafts, pond dipping and helping with school trips.
'I enjoy working with children, they get so excited about everything. That age between two and four - they're so open to new ideas and experiences. I'm hoping to get a job soon as a nursery nurse, but even when I do, I'll still volunteer. Everyone's so friendly, it's like a community.'
After Bett lost her husband, her daughter suggested she volunteer with her local WWT centre. She is currently an information desk volunteer, having also helped out in education, with crafts and in admin roles.
'I wasn't sure at first,' she says 'but she was absolutely right. It's very stimulating. Everyone enjoys their work, and there's a real sense of like-minded companionship. When I began, I didn't really have an interest in wildlife. Now, I love encouraging birds into my garden.'
Mature student Diane volunteers on the reserve to help her in her studies.
'I was supposed to do 120 hours in my first year as part of my coursework but I've already gone well beyond that. I love it. Last year I helped with the Whooper swan catch - it was amazing and I was on a high for ages. I'm aiming to become an ecologist and if, once I've qualified, a position comes up at WWT, that would be great. A change in career really is possible if you put your mind to it.'
Nilani joined WWT's Visitor Service team to develop her confidence in public speaking.
'My volunteering so far has made me realise that you don't have to know everything about everything. People are more likely to remember what you say if you are engaging and interactive, rather than just reciting all your knowledge. For me, this is measured by the instant positive feedback gained from talking to the public.'
John took early retirement and now he uses his project management skills to help in marketing and in working on a database to help WWT manage its carbon footprint.
'Volunteering with WWT gives me a great chance to get out and about, I really enjoy being at the heart of what's going on, getting the news as it happens, and being involved in all the seasonal changes. I couldn't stay at home all the time, and the work is so worthwhile and interesting.'
Anthea and Fred
Anthea and Fred met each other at university, both becoming teachers and then headteachers.
'Volunteering with WWT has broadened our horizons. We get great pleasure from being part of a team, and it's rather nice to make new friends who aren't teachers!'