A study of Wildlife Trust Volunteers, their motivations, expectations and experiences.

Hinde, L (2010) A study of Wildlife Trust Volunteers, their motivations, expectations and experiences. [Dissertation]

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This dissertation focuses on young volunteers for the Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside Wildlife Trust, in particular volunteers between the ages of 16‐25. The author became interested in this topic during their personal volunteer experience with the Wildlife Trust group, The Mud Pack.
The aim of the study is to determine whether volunteers are motivated by environmental concern or to benefit their health. The author took into account that there may be a wide range of other reasons for their participation. The group had varying numbers of volunteers between events and author considered what motivated the regular volunteers to continue to participate long term. The author was also interested in what the volunteers gained from the experience and whether they had formed opinions on the Wildlife Trust as a result.
The research was carried out at Mud Pack events in the form of semi‐structured interviews. The interviews were successful in providing information for analysis. During the course of the research the author had an opportunity to interview volunteers before they began taking part in a Trailblazer group aimed at students. The purpose of this
was to find out what the volunteers expected to gain from volunteer work.
Although definitive conclusions are impossible to make from a qualitative study such as this, it was apparent from all of the interviews that environmental concern was eclipsed by the desire to improve career prospects and develop more personal skills. The study was successful and posed potential questions for further research.

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