Volunteering Spotlight

Welcome to our Volunteering Spotlight, where we showcase the fantastic volunteering efforts of Reading University Students’ Union members. Each month we will exhibit how different clubs and societies are working with charities to help make a difference in the local community and beyond.

Previous Volunteering spotlights

Earley Environmental Group

What volunteering have you been up to?

Most of our work is based on maintaining the environment around Maiden Erlegh Lake. This includes a lot of clearing brambles to allow flowers to grow, and maintaining footpaths and putting up signs for members of the public. Occasionally we have other jobs to do, such as litter picking, hedge laying, or making floating platforms for birds. We most recently went out to the River Kennet and cleared the riverbank of the invasive species, Himalayan balsam.

What is your favourite thing about being part of the Earley Conservation Group?

My favourite part has been learning how to practically conserve a nature reserve alongside some brilliant and hard-working people. I've made some good friends and have leaned some skills which will be invaluable to me finding a postgraduate job in the field.

Why do you volunteer to help at the Earley Conservation Group?

As well as the opportunities it gives me gain skills, I really enjoy learning about the plant and animals species that live so close to us. It's so interesting to learn about the ecology of a place which is right under our noses without us realising. It's nice to know that you can contribute to your community, and it's always a proud moment when you can physically see the difference you've made.

What can Reading Students do to help?

Anyone with a few hours of free time can come along on a Wednesday morning and help out around the lake. Even if you can't make it every week or don't feel very confident, help is always appreciated. Help is more needed in winter/spring, when there are lots of jobs to do but there may not be as many volunteers because of worse weather.