Volunteer’s Story

We love to feature the amazing work of people across the Adur area who are using their time, energy, knowledge and skills for the good of our local community. In this edition we are pleased to hear from Ella.

We hope you feel inspired by Ella’s story. Once you have read it, if you would like to find out how to get more involved in your community, then we would love to hear from you – see how to get in touch at the end of this article.

Ella Ward’s volunteer story

Where do you volunteer?

For TreeAction UK mostly at Adur rec and occasionally Southwick rec. 

How often and for how long do you volunteer?

I’ve been volunteering monthly since November 2022, so just under a year and a half. 

What inspired you to volunteer?

As a former geography and ecology student (I graduated from the University of Sussex in the summer of 2023), I hear a lot of doom and gloom about climate change and the anthropogenic impacts on our biodiversity. I wanted to do something to make an impact that I could feel connected to. 

What were you hoping to get out of volunteering?

I’m not too sure, I didn’t think much when I first started. I just wanted to feel like I was doing something beneficial, no matter how small the impact in the grand scheme of things. However, once I started working with TreeAction, I gained a lot of pride and accomplishment from volunteering. Going to the sites, seeing trees I planted back in 2022 thriving or knowing that those weeds I cleared could have outcompeted the saplings and that I prevented it. I love that in 50 years I can come back to Adur Rec and see a different landscape that I helped shape. 

What have you learnt?

I’ve been reminded how much I enjoy the tactical aspects of tree planting and sapling maintenance. It’s very therapeutic. 

I have also learnt how resilient nature and those tiny saplings we plant are. While I’ve been volunteering, they’ve survived snow, drought and other human impacts. 

Have you got a highlight or particular moment from your volunteering to share, something that helps to capture the essence of your volunteering?

On December 11th 2022, when it snowed in the UK, I was at Adur Rec weeding and mulching the saplings during their winter hibernation. The rec looked like a winter wonderland. 

To find a volunteering opportunity that’s right for you, please get in touch with Sarah Leeding via email: sarah@adurva.org or phone: 01903 629874 or pop into Number 11, Station Parade, South Street, Lancing on Mondays 9-2 or Wednesdays 9-12.30 or Shoreham Co-op Community Hub, Ham Road, Shoreham on Tuesdays 9-2.30.

You can also visit our website: www.adurva.org

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