Few places better show off how broad that impact can be than Boston Woods Trust.
The trust was formed in 2001, two years after founder Adrian Isaac raised £58,000 in two weeks to launch Westgate Wood in Wyberton. It now has 79 acres of woodland and parkland in Wyberton and 32 acres in Fenside, Boston, and 90,000 trees.
Volunteers put in thousands of hours every year to maintain the woods, caring for the trees, maintaining paths and generally ensuring the place remains a great place to visit.
Adrian Isaac, founder of Boston Woods Trust, said: “We have had many volunteers come to us because they haven’t got work or who have mental health or physical issues.
“They work with us for a while, build up their confidence and then move on.
“It’s always a shame to see them go but we’re happy to support that.”
Others stay for longer, for example, Richard Starbuck (pictured), was linked to the Boston Woods Trust via Boston Volunteer Centre, run by Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS), around two years ago and has been going along two days per week ever since.
Many others who enjoy the outdoor work join the team after they retire. Mr Isaac and his longest serving volunteer, who has been with him for 13 years, dedicate three days per week to it. Two others are there regularly two days per week and two more put in a day a week. Several others come when extra hands are needed for a particular task such as feeding the pruned branches into the chipper.
A small group of ladies has recently formed to split clumps of bulbs and replant them to increase stocks.
Mr Isaac (75), a former personnel director with Oldrids, works side-by-side with new volunteers training them in what to do.
He said: “Without volunteers we just could not maintain the woods. We have to put many thousands of hours in every year.
“We have always got work to do – my dream is to catch up but we never quite do! We have just finished pruning, that took three months.”
Alex Bell (22), of Swineshead Road, Frampton Fen, began volunteering with Boston Woods Trust when, following graduating in horticulture, he struggled to get a job.
The experience propelled him to start his own business Alexander Bell Gardens offering landscape and maintenance gardening.
He said: “I was looking for work and the feedback from all my interviews was I didn’t have enough experience. My idea was just to volunteer to get some experience but it’s what ended up making me stay in Boston.
“I contacted Adrian because the Wyberton wood is close to where my parents live and I ended up volunteering there two days per week between November and March.
“I really enjoyed it and even though a lot of the people there were a lot older than me I felt I was learning a lot from them.
“I thought rather than keep looking for a job I could set up my own business here and see how it goes and at the moment it is going really well.”
To find out more about hundreds of volunteering opportunities, from working in administration to animal care, contact LCVS on 01205 510888 , email email@example.com or visit LCVS volunteering
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