Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay has received an award from Volunteer Friendly Scotland in recognition of its work to support, encourage and develop its own volunteer staff.
The centre, which already has a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and Green Tourism Gold Award, is run by marine wildlife charity, WDC and takes in a number of volunteers each year for an eight month period to help deal with public events, visitor questions, lead tours, school talks, gardening and other maintenance on site.
The Volunteer Friendly Award recognises and rewards groups and organisations across Scotland that provide the best possible experience for volunteers, and demonstrate good practice in involving and managing them on a daily basis.
WDC’s Scottish Dolphin Centre is free for members of the public and around 90,000 people per year visit for the chance to see the amazing bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth, enjoy beautiful walks along the River Spey, spot seals or ospreys, and learn more about Spey Bay’s fishing heritage during a tour of the historic Icehouse.
To help such a busy visitor attraction run smoothly, volunteers are taken on for various time periods, from just a few hours a week right through to a residential internship for the whole season.
“There are lots of ways people can help out at the Scottish Dolphin Centre through volunteering”, said Lisa Farley, centre officer. “And you don’t have to be a dolphin expert – we give you all the training you need.
“We are delighted to have received this recognition. Volunteers are an essential part of the WDC Scotland team and play a vital role in our work. Their efforts and support help towards our vision of a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free, Lisa continues.
“In return, we offer the opportunity for people to make a positive difference to marine conservation, gain project management, events organisation and research experience, all based in a beautiful location with a huge variety of wildlife including dolphins!”
Volunteer Friendly Scotland is funded through the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland, through Supporting Voluntary Action Programme being administered by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.