SWAN notes

Melanie who will be competing in the Great North swim
Melanie who will be competing in the Great North swim

I HAVE to start off the column this week with a big thank you to Melanie Ellis. Actually it is two thank yous. The first is to thank her for completing the Great North Swim on Windermere in the Lake District last weekend.

She swam a mile in a time of 40 minutes and 31 seconds and managed to raise £363.50 for the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

Well done Melanie and thank you on raising that amount by doing something I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough to try and for helping out on a weekly basis at the swan shed.

I did say I had two thank yous to say to Melanie. The second was thank you for giving me the inspiration for this week’s column which is the importance of volunteering to organisations like the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

If it wasn’t for people like Melanie willing to give their time to the Trust then we couldn’t carry on doing the work that we do on to help the local wildlife.

However you don’t have to raise money by swimming a mile in a freezing cold lake (at least I imagine the lake was on the cold side!) or even help out in the swan shed, although we will not say no if you did!

There are lots of different ways you can help out the Trust by giving just a little bit of your time. It could be organising a fundraising event like a coffee morning or quiz night. Or it might be giving some time to help in some other way, such as helping write something for our website, the Cygnet newsletter or even this column.

So if you have something to offer the Trust, be it a skill, some of your time or even taking part in a fundraising event to raise some money for the Trust, then please do get in touch using the details below.

Volunteers are the life blood to small organisations like the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust. The committee is made up of volunteers, those that work in the swan shed are volunteers and those of us that write this column are volunteers. No matter how little you can offer it will be greatly appreciated.

As 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering there is quite a lot of publicity being put into volunteering but anyone involved with a voluntary organisation will know that you don’t need a special year to know how important volunteers are.

However if 2011 can be used to show volunteers how important they are to organisations, both large ones and especially the small ones, and to somehow show them that they really are appreciated then I am all for it.

That’s all from me for this week. I have swapped with Barrie as he has something special to write about next week that also kind of links into what I have been writing about this week.

GRAEME WILSON

Should you find an animal in need of our services, or if you need any advice please phone HQ on (01289) 302882 we are happy to help. You can also e-mail via our website www.swan-trust.org. We are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/swantrust. If you would like to donate to the trust (cheques payable to BSWT) or to become a member please contact the treasurer, Derek Roughton, Yew Tree Cottage, Branton, Alnwick. NE66 4LW. Telephone (01665) 578365.