At North West Kent Countryside Partnership, we offer work placements for students who have an interest in potentially pursuing a career in conservation or environmental work and may be completing their GCSEs, A-Levels or a relevant college course or university degree.
Our placements usually last between 1 to 2 weeks but we can discuss and arrange a longer one if desired. You may even wish to join us for one day a week as part of our volunteer team to get practical hands on experience throughout the year.
We can accommodate students for placements throughout the year, but the best times are late spring and summer when we are at our busiest and able to offer a more representative range of activities and tasks to gain experience from. Your time with us should give you a good idea of what it is like to work for a non-profit organisation focused on improving the environment for nature and local communities.
Most of the time will be outdoor and practical based and will involve accompanying our partnership officers on their project work. This could be assisting in the running of nature-based wellbeing activities with our mental health groups, aiding with education sessions for primary schools, helping at community events, coming to site visits or completing survey work.
At least one to two days a week will involve getting stuck in with volunteer task days; this will give you the chance to learn about different habitat management techniques and develop your skills and tool use depending on the task. Tasks could be coppicing, river spiling, hedge laying, scrub clearance, pond creation and restoration, construction of community gardens and school grounds projects to name a few. All training and supervision will be given by our staff and experienced volunteers and PPE e.g. gloves and steel toe capped boots will also be provided.
If you are interested in organising a placement with us or would like more information then please contact our work experience coordinator Stephanie Johnson to discuss at: Stephanie.Johnson@kent.gov.uk
Under 18s Volunteering
If you have spare time and are thinking of volunteering, then perhaps you would like to consider doing this with us. Volunteering is a great way of contributing to your local community along with gaining valuable experience and skills. It looks good to future employers and when applying for further education and can help you make useful contacts within your chosen industry.
Our volunteer days run every Wednesday and Thursday and therefore would suit someone who wants to volunteer during breaks from their studies such as school holidays or a gap year. Our volunteer days usually last from 9:30 to 16:00 but this can change depending on the task and traffic.
We transport our volunteers directly to site from our yard at Hall Place in Bexley so there is no need for your own transport except getting to and from Hall Place. Alternatively, you may wish to travel directly to site if you can for example if it is close to home.
Task days are varied depending on which projects we have on at the time. They can be anything from scrub clearance and river work to creating ponds and community gardens. Our volunteering page has a list of our monthly tasks and can give you a taste of what we do https://nwkcp.org/volunteering-with-us/
It’s not just practical skills such as habitat management techniques and tool use that you will learn but also communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.
Anyone wanting to volunteer with us under the age of 18 will need to provide proof of parental or guardian consent and anyone under the age of 16 will need to be accompanied on task days by their parent or guardian. All under 18s will be supervised by our members of staff who are all DBS checked and any training necessary for the tasks at hand will be provided, along with appropriate PPE e.g. gloves and steel toe capped boots.
If volunteering with us sounds like the sort of thing you would be interested in doing or you would like more information then please contact our volunteer coordinator Stephanie Johnson at: Stephanie.Johnson@kent.gov.uk