Dorset's army of volunteers get involved giving free time to charity

Giving some of your free time to help with a charity is tremendously rewarding. Here are just a few stories from Dorset's army of volunteers, who explain why they got involved

We Got Involved!

Giving some of your free time to help with a charity is tremendously rewarding. Here are just a few stories from Dorset’s army of volunteers, who explain why they got involved

Dorchester County MuseumVolunteers at Dorset County Museum help with a wide range of activities including conservation of artefacts, answering enquiries, helping on the front desk and in the caf�. For example, David Ashford works with a team of volunteers who identify objects that are brought into the Museum. They use the resources available to them, including the museum library, other members of the society who are experts in a particular field (including bottle collectors and experts on weapons and projectiles) and, of course, their own knowledge. From their research, they are able to identify these objects and derive as much information as possible for their owners.

Since David is a member of ASPROM (The Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics) he and his group also help with the conservation of the Roman mosaics within the museum. They are assisted by the museum’s cleaning technician, Steve Ware, caretaker Brian Welch and curator Peter Woodward. Gwen Yarker, museum volunteer and trustee, encouraged the initial work on the mosaics then provided valuable advice on the correct techniques to use. “I’m also getting help from other art volunteers in carrying out research for an exhibition I’m curating in 2011 at the museum called ‘Georgian Faces’, which will feature a number of paintings from the museum’s own collection,” she reveals.

Do you want to help to preserve Dorset’s rich heritage for the future? Contact the museum on 01305 262735 or e-mail


Provide a few hours of manpower to help keep Dorset special

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Stephen Grainger and Suzanne Goodway – Volunteers with Dorset Wildlife Trust

We first thought about volunteering to keep ourselves active and healthy and to be of some use to the local area. During our search we discovered Dorset Wildlife Trust and felt we would like to work outdoors and in a manual capacity. Having had very little to do with wildlife in the past, the idea that we could help with preservation of heath and habitats for future generations to enjoy was attractive.

We work one day a week at a venue chosen by the wardens. Armed with flasks of coffee, stout boots and waterproof clothes, we meet with other volunteers. Tasks vary greatly – building bridges and boardwalks, creating paths so the public can enjoy the countryside and views, and clearing bracken, gorse, brambles and small trees to benefit wildlife. We even make bat, mouse and dormouse boxes.

We have met a smashing group of people of all ages, who work with enthusiasm and passion. We get a wonderful feeling of making a difference, and at the end of the day we go home to a glass of wine and a fantastic night’s sleep!

We would highly recommend other people to consider this type of work if they like to be outdoors, keep fit and, most of all, provide a few hours of manpower to help keep Dorset special.

  Want to get involved? Contact Steve Davis, Volunteering Programme Manager for Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01202 642788 or visit

Weldmar Hospicecare Trust

Our volunteers come from various backgrounds and all age groups, bringing a wealth of skills and experiences. Our youngest volunteer is 17-year-old Hannah Russell and our most senior volunteer is 92-year-old Audrey Kelly. 

 Volunteers get involved for many reasons. Some may have used our services in the past for a family member or friend and now want to give something back, others join so they can meet new people, enhance their skills by exploring new areas and ventures, or they may simply wish to contribute their time to a local charity. 

Volunteers work in the Trust’s shops, help with fundraising events and support patients and carers in the community, day hospice and the in-patient unit. As one of our volunteers said recently: “It gives me focus in life and the satisfaction of helping others. I find the work is fulfilling and rewarding, and it leaves me feeling valued.”

The Weldmar Hospicecare Trust is an independent charity working in Dorset. All its services are provided free of charge and 70% of the funds needed are raised locally. Its job is to support people in Dorset affected by cancer and other life-limiting diseases, largely at the end of life.

Want to get involved? Contact Caroline Munslow on 01305 756930, enquire at one of its shops or visit

Maria Carroll – Volunteer with Julia’s House

Although I have a busy life, I’m operations manager for a local telecoms software company and part-time step mum to my boyfriend’s two little girls, I knew I could make time available for people that really need support. I’m young, fit, very sociable, and have my own transport. My involvement at Julia’s House covers two areas. The first is Sibling Days, which are days out for the brothers and sisters of the children who attend Julia’s House, and they range from tea parties with a magician for the younger children, to a day out in London for the older girls. Secondly, there’s fundraising. Come rain, wind or shine this often involves standing in a field at an event and persuading people to part with their cash. I could be running a tombola or selling Julia’s House merchandise to raise much-needed funds to help keep the hospice running and to pay for such things as the Sibling Days. As we are only 3% government funded we need all the support we can get and people are generally happy to help.

We also spend time talking to people to spread the word about the essential care provided by Julia’s House, thus raising awareness that will hopefully lead to donations!

It’s so humbling spending time with these remarkable children whose lives are so heavily affected by illness, and it’s so rewarding being part of a hard-working, passionate team. Every event or activity I have volunteered for is different, whether it’s having a giggle with a group of girls on a minibus in London or watching the pennies roll in during the Bournemouth Airshow. My only regret is that I didn’t get involved sooner.Julia’s House is Dorset’s only hospice dedicated to children with life-limiting conditions. They also provide nurses and carers to support families in both their own homes and in the hospice. Look out for Julia’s House’s Pyjama Appeal in 2010, which will be raising funds to launch the charity’s new overnight care service.

Want to get involved? Call Julia’s House on01202 607400 or visit 

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