New Year, new challenge at Living Coasts

Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium is looking for new volunteers. But the charity zoo is not seeking skills handling penguins, fur seals, otters or octopus. Instead you’ll need to be great with that most extraordinary of species – human beings.

The three volunteer roles are all to do with helping visitors: meeting and greeting people as they arrive; fundraising; and providing information.

Volunteers’ Coordinator Frankie Lawrence-Thompson: “We have a range of volunteer roles at Living Coasts. At the moment we are looking for additional Meet and Greet volunteers, Activities volunteers to help children make badges or magnets, and Visitor Experience Guides, who talk to people about species, ecosystems, campaigns and our conservation work.

“These roles would suit anyone who has retired from a customer service role or any career which involved communications and people skills. They could also be ideal for anyone who is willing to learn and develop these skills. You will not get up close and personal with our animals, but you will be volunteering in an environment where the animals are all around you.”

Volunteering has been shown to be good for both your mental and physical health and is a chance to give something back to your community in a way that suits you.

“There’s also a terrific social network at Living Coasts,” says Frankie. “You can meet other volunteers and members of staff and chat over coffee - you’ll always be learning about other things going on here. It’s a great place to be part of!”

To volunteer at Living Coasts, you do need to be over 18 and live within easy travelling distance of the facility, which is at Beacon Quay. Living Coasts is a conservation and education charity which support projects overseas and in the UK.