Free training programme for BEES volunteers

THE Borders Environmental Education Services (BEES) is looking for volunteers to sign up for a free training programme aimed at equipping future volunteers to work on community projects.

Up to 20 volunteers will be offered a year’s training under the two-year programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community Scottish Borders LEADER 2007-2013, with support from the Robertson Trust.

Volunteer trainees need to be currently unemployed or under-employed, and living in the Scottish Borders

Pete Carthy, BEES manager and founding director, said: “BEES helps you rediscover your inner adventurer with an inspiring mix of hands-on play, bushcraft, practical conservation and environmental projects to help boost mental well-being and self-esteem.

“It is aimed at people of all ages and all social backgrounds. We offer various projects designed specifically for both children and adults, including our Saturday clubs and activity weeks, and other contracted projects.”

The training programme includes Forest Schools Level 2, Outdoor First Aid, MiDAS (minibus driving), Child Protection, Bushcraft, John Muir Award leadership and Food Hygiene. Volunteers will work with community and child centred groups on a supervised basis to acquire the practical skills to work with groups in environmental education. Successful completion will lead to recognised certificates, which it’s hoped will help participants to find work in the sector.

The newly recruited project development worker, Caroline Blackie, is herself a former volunteer with BEES who started with the organisation in 2009. She has a lifelong passion for nature and the countryside, with special expertise in the barn owl population in the Scottish Borders.

Other local BEES projects include an NHS wellbeing group in Eyemouth, as well as forest schools and bushcraft groups that help children enjoy time with their parents and carers while learning in the great outdoors.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact Caroline Blackie on 01835 869869 or or for more information go to