Volunteer profiles

Katy Ross

Photo of Katy Ross

Over the summer I volunteered as Conservation Skills Trainee with the RSPB in the North of Scotland in one of their largest reserves. This was great for me because I was working in an incredible habitat and met some really inspiring people as well as working on current conservation operations. Since being back at university I have been volunteering as captain of the university shinty team and I am also plant and habitat rep on the ecosoc committee.

I volunteer for lots of different reasons, with the RSPB I initially started to improve my job prospects as I'm getting close to graduating but also because I really love the blanket bog habitat that they protect there and wanted to spend some time learning how to conserve and restore the peatland. With the university I volunteer because I want to share my passion, I want more people to experience the opportunities I have had from playing sport at an international level from being a complete beginner. As well as sharing the fascinating nature of British wildlife with other people wanting to learn more.

My most rewarding moments involve seeing people achieve things that they didn't think they would ever be able to do, particularly in shinty. Or when I found I could name all the different species of moss on a blanket bog (a bit niche but cool).

If someone asked for my advice about volunteering I'd say to pick something you really love or want to learn more about. Volunteering isn't just about giving some thing back, I'f you're doing something you love you'll also gain so much, from knowledge around about a subject to meeting new people (just make sure you still spend plenty of time on your degree)