Volunteers clock up 250 years of service

Volunteers celebrate their long service achievement with Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park Authority.
Volunteers celebrate their long service achievement with Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park Authority.

Northumberland National Park has recognised some of its longest-serving volunteers and announced opportunities for residents to get stuck in.

Seven volunteers, who have clocked up a staggering 250 years’ service between them, were recognised at a special event in Bellingham during National Volunteers’ Week, where National Park staff also announced a range of new volunteering opportunities connected to the opening of The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre this summer.

Founding members of the Volunteer programme, Trevor and Dorothy Hardy, along with Brian Aitkins, Brian Thompson, Fred Pattinson, Margaret Moffit and Ivan Foster were presented with cards and gifts in recognition of their years of dedicated service welcoming visitors to the Park and Hadrian’s Wall Path.

Glen Sanderson, chairman of the Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “Established more than 50 years ago, Northumberland National Park’s Volunteer programme is integral to the Park’s success.

“We would like to thank Trevor, Dorothy, the two Brians, Fred, Margaret and Ivan for their fantastic contribution to the Park. Together, they have amassed an incredible 250 years of volunteering for which we are extremely grateful.

“Our volunteers bring a wide range of skills from a great variety of backgrounds and, without them, the national park could not achieve all that we do.”

To find out more about all of the National Park’s volunteering opportunities, visit www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk

Volunteer activities cover all aspects of the National Park’s work, from guided walks to conservation, educational visits and volunteer ranger schemes, while the public opening of The Sill on Saturday, July 29, has created numerous new opportunities for people to volunteer with the Park.

The new volunteer positions include front of house, reception and welcoming roles, curator roles within The Sill’s exhibition spaces, support staff in the retail and catering areas and general groundskeeping and site maintenance activities. There are also opportunities for volunteers to get involved in supporting The Sill Activity and Education programmes.