News from New Forest National Parks Authority.
Charities and local groups looking to recruit volunteers are invited to register their interest for the New Forest Volunteer Fair 2015.
The annual event at Lyndhurst Community Centre attracts hundreds of people from across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire, looking to try new skills and enjoy new experiences.
The fair will take place on 31 January next year, when around 30 organisations from in and around the New Forest will attract volunteers for wildlife projects, archaeological surveys and outdoor activities.
One organisation which has benefited recently is Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey, which has attracted the skills of photographer Matt Pringle to improve their portfolio of images for their websites and magazines.
Mr Pringle has also benefited from the experience, helping him to recover from mental and physical health problems after being assaulted at work as a police officer.
He said: ‘Volunteering at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens gives me the opportunity to give something back. It’s helped me gain a sense of achievement, reach attainable goals and I’ve enjoyed meeting new people. The positive nature of the experience has been a real benefit for my mental health too.’
Janet Pratley, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, said: ‘Matt’s photos have been of the highest quality and he has been a fantastic addition to our team of volunteers. They make such a difference to the gardens, whether it’s by planting and digging, helping customers or other skilled services such as photography. The New Forest Volunteer Fair has been a great place for us to find such wonderful people.’