Hidden volunteers

Volunteer….What does that word mean to you? 

When asked this question, what do you think about? Currently, many will think of all of the fantastic NHS Responder volunteers, and all those who are helping in many different ways during the coronavirus pandemic. In some countries, the word ‘volunteer’ may be linked to compulsory military service. Or perhaps you thought about those snazzy deep purple and poppy red uniforms, worn by the amazing Games Maker volunteers for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games?

When asked this question, I think about all of the hidden volunteers - the roles you never see and who don’t get any media attention. The Ramblers has thousands of hidden volunteers and this week, as part of National Volunteers Week (1-7 June) everyone at the Ramblers want to recognise and thank every volunteer for their expertise and skills.

Who are our hidden volunteers?

Have you ever walked down a path and thought about the wonderful path maintenance volunteers who are clearing greenery and fixing kissing gates? What about the access volunteer, who made a representation to the local authority and protected a right of way? Or the path order volunteer who checked out the path order and made that path even better?

When enjoying the views on a coastal walk, have you ever though about the coastal path access volunteers who have campaigned for and helped the development of the coastal path? Or the many great trails that have been created and way-marked by volunteers across the country?

What about that great led walk, and that brilliant walk leader, who knew all about the local area and shared fun facts about nature and history? Do you remember the walk leader who led a mini health walk that was just right? Or even more hidden – the volunteer who put the walk programme together? The volunteer who publicised it on the website? The volunteer who arranged the planning meetings? The treasurer who managed the budget? The Chair who led the group during the year? 

The Ramblers has thousands of hidden volunteers who help to make sure that everyone, everywhere can enjoy the benefits of walking. 

Happy Volunteers Week to every volunteer. 

Across the UK on 1-7 June we celebrate National Volunteers Week and recognise all those hidden talents.

Thank you for the unseen contributions that each Ramblers volunteer shares behind the scenes to help us all enjoy the outdoors, nature, land and paths.  Thank you for the enjoyment and knowledge that the Ramblers volunteers contribute and share with all of us. Volunteers are wonderful and make the world go round.  

A HUGE thank you to each and every one.

Rachael Bayley, director of operations and volunteering 

See more stories on our volunteers week page  #Volunteersweek

If you volunteer with the Ramblers check out further information on our website specifically for volunteers: ramblers.goassemble.com. If you have any questions do get in touch…the best way to contact me is through the email Volunteersupport@ramblers.zendesk.com