Volunteering

Environment Action Volunteers (EAVs for short) encourage and support people in Leicestershire to take action to reduce their impact on the environment. We are currently recruiting for new Environment Action Volunteers to join us. Click here to apply.

The Environment Action Volunteer scheme is managed by Leicestershire County Council’s Environment and Waste Initiatives teams in partnership with the charities Love Food Hate Waste and Garden Organic. The Environment Action Volunteers help to support the County Council in meeting its aims and objectives as set out in its Environment Strategy, the Waste Disposal Authority Plan, the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy. It also helps the council to meet its commitments to the Courtauld 2025 agreement, SCAP and the Leicestershire food plan.

The Environment Action volunteer role is about fostering positive behavioural change and is as much about people and communities as it is about the environment. The role of Environment Action Volunteers is as diverse as the people they support. You’ll find a role description here. Examples of the types of activities Environment Action Volunteers get involved with include:

Raising awareness, giving advice and providing education

  • Attending events and talking to people about topics such as; food waste prevention, home composting, waste reduction, reuse and recycling, the use of reusable nappies, carbon footprints, climate change and biodiversity.
  • Supporting social media campaigns, initiatives and events designed to help people in Leicestershire to live more sustainably and less wastefully. For examples of current social media campaigns see here.
  • Delivering talks, presentations and workshops for community groups and educational establishments on topics related to waste, the environment and sustainability.
  • Promoting the availability of grant funding designed to help Leicestershire communities to undertake projects which minimise waste and / or which protect or improve the environment. Environmental Action Volunteers can also lend advice and support to such projects.
Volunteers at an event with a stall

Volunteers promoting home composting at an event

Providing practical support:

  • Supporting community fridges, community kitchens or other projects that make good use of surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.
  • Supporting Parish councils to be more aware of, and take practical actions to protect biodiversity.
  • Running cooking classes and teaching people to buy, prepare, cook and store food with minimal waste.
  • Helping to promote and run the council-supported reusable nappy scheme and helping the parents of young children to make the change from single use disposable nappies to reusable alternatives.
  • Supporting community groups that deliver carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
  • Establishing compost demonstration sites where people can visit and learn about home composting, the different types of bins and composting techniques available, and where people can get involved with community composting.
  • Contributing materials for publication via a range of media including; print, social media, video and radio. For example see here.
  • Develop projects to demonstrate environmental good practice and show community leadership.
  • Provide informal advice to friends, family and neighbours on a range of  topics relating to waste and the environment.
  • Help to establish community events where people can swap,  swish or donate unwanted items.
  • Support or develop projects that support sustainable travel.
  • Help to establish or run community events where people can learn to complete maintenance or basic repairs to broken items that might otherwise go to waste.
  • Help to establish and run sharing schemes in Leicestershire such as tool libraries or book swaps.
Cooking class at a community kitchen

Volunteers supporting the delivery of zero waste cooking classes at a community kitchen.

Become an Environment Action Volunteer

We are currently recruiting for new Environment Action Volunteers in Leicestershire. We welcome diversity and invite applications from people from a wide range of backgrounds. No previous experience of volunteering is necessary and full training will be given.

We are currently accepting applications to join the Environment Action Volunteer scheme from:

  • Leicestershire residents (this excludes residents of Leicester City and Rutland owing to the way the EAV scheme is funded)
  • People aged 18 years or over (for insurance purposes)
  • People with an interest in helping Leicestershire residents / communities to reduce waste, recycle more, protect and improve the environment and to live more sustainably.

You do not need to have any prior knowledge of waste or environmental topics to apply, although having an interest would be beneficial.

All our EAVs are covered by appropriate insurance. Approved expenses including travel and mileage costs incurred in performing the voluntary role are reimbursed.

Click here to apply

Tree Wardens

Leicestershire County Council assists in the co-ordination of the Leicestershire Tree Warden Scheme. Tree Wardens are appointed by parish/town councils or Oadby and Wigston Borough Council as guardians of your local trees and are also a source of advice and can help you organise a tree planting scheme.

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Parish Councils appoint Tree Wardens and the scheme is co-ordinated by Leicestershire County Council. If you are interested in becoming a Tree Warden or would like some more information then please contact the Tree Warden Coordinator on 0116305764 or email treewardens@leics.gov.uk.

Nationally the Tree Warden Scheme is co-ordinated by The Tree Council an organisation that promotes trees, the better care of trees and effective action for trees throughout the country.

 

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Why apply to be an Environment Action Volunteer?

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment

An increasing number of people are motivated to do something to reduce their impact on the environment, to play their part in meeting the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change and to live more sustainably.

The Environment Action Volunteer scheme aims to give Leicestershire residents the skills and opportunity to take personal and group action on a local scale, but which has global benefits.

The scheme is suitable for both people who are just starting to think about reducing their impact on the environment and those who have a lot of experience and who are keen to help others to make progress.

The Environment Action Volunteer selection process

If your application is successful you’ll be invited to an informal meeting with an Environment Action Volunteer scheme coordinator. These meetings may be individual or as part of a group depending upon your availability. The purpose of the meeting is to provide you with an overview of the Environment Action Volunteer scheme and its aims, and to give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have. You may also have chance to meet some of the people you’ll be volunteering with.

During the meeting the coordinator will discuss with you what you hope to achieve whilst volunteering, what sort of training and support you’ll need in order to meet your aims, how much time you wish to commit to the Environment Action Volunteer scheme, when and where you might be available to volunteer and what qualities and experiences you might be able to draw upon in support of your activities.

If after the meeting you and the scheme coordinator decide that you wish to join the Environmental Action Volunteer scheme, you’ll be invited to attend a mandatory training session where you’ll be given the basic knowledge you’ll need to start volunteering.

You’ll be able to start volunteering after completing your mandatory training, but you won’t become a fully fledged Environment Action Volunteer until you also complete at least one specialist training course.

What training is on offer for Environment Action Volunteers?

All Environment Action Volunteers are required to complete mandatory training so that you have a basic level of knowledge. The first training date is Saturday 14th March 2020 and will be held in Leicester. If you cannot attend that date you can ask to be placed on a waiting list and will be notified when additional dates become available. In some circumstances we are able to offer online training courses which you can complete from home in your own time.

After completing the mandatory training you’ll be able to start volunteering. However, you will be required to complete an additional training session (as soon as practicable) in a specialist topic from the list below;

  • Garden Organic Master Composter training.
  • Love Food Hate Waste adviser training.
  • Food waste prevention cooking classes / demonstration training (includes a Level 2 food hygiene qualification).
  • Reusable nappy adviser training.
  • Recycling and contamination training.
  • Environment and Carbon awareness.
  • Biodiversity.

More specialist training topics will be added periodically.

The exact content of your specialist training will vary depending upon the type of volunteering you want to undertake (for example, we won’t train you how to run a cooking class if you don’t want to run cooking classes) and the skills and experience that you bring to the role.

Environment Action Volunteers are encouraged to undertake additional training courses each year, to broaden their knowledge and skills. This may take the form of in-service training to increase the depth of their knowledge within their specialist topic, and / or undertaking additional specialist training modules to broaden their knowledge.

Volunteering as an Environment Action Volunteer

Once training is complete Environment Action Volunteers can choose when, where and how they volunteer, although we do suggest that a minimum of 30 hours are volunteered within 12 months of completing your mandatory training. This is so that you have opportunity to practice what you have learnt in the training. Scheme co-coordinators will communicate volunteering opportunities to appropriately qualified volunteers by email. Volunteers are also expected to take a degree of responsibility for generating opportunities themselves. Environment Action Volunteers are expected to actively engage other people with appropriate messages and resources whenever opportunities arise. For example, this could entail approaching a local school and offering to do an assembly, organising to run a stall at a local event, writing an article for a local newsletter, posting something on social media, or simply chatting to a neighbour about their recycling.

Each month you’ll be asked to feed back your activities to a scheme coordinator. The information you provide will be added to your personal volunteering log. Information from all Environment Action Volunteer logs is collated periodically and used to help measure the impact that the scheme is having in Leicestershire.