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Make a New Year resolution with New Forest volunteer fair at Lyndhurst

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The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust stall in 2018
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust stall in 2018

PEOPLE who want to help out local groups and organisations in the new year can find out how to get involved at a showcase event.

The national park authority organised volunteer fair, from 10.30am to 4pm at Lyndhurst Community Centre on Sunday 27th January, marks International Volunteer Day.

Almost 600 people attended last year and hundreds of visitors are again expected in 2019 to see opportunities from over 30 groups including Pondhead Conservation Trust, Hampshire Swifts and Oakhaven Hospice Trust.

Roles on offer include recording wildlife, inspiring youngsters, restoring landscapes and helping some of society’s most vulnerable.

The NPA says that as well as helping local communities and the environment, volunteering is also good for people, helping them find friends, reach out to the community, improve mental and physical well-being and even advance their career.

College student Hannah Makin from Brockenhurst, who began volunteering this year, said: “For my volunteering placement I was offered a rare experience – travelling to the British Museum Store Rooms in London to take photos of Roman pottery found in the New Forest over 100 years ago.

“I really enjoyed finding out about these rare objects. I was fascinated at how they have survived for so many years in such good condition and largely intact. And so I am now considering further education in this field and volunteering opportunities in the national park.”

Jim Mitchell, NPA interpretation and outreach manager who is organising the event, said: “Volunteering is a great way to help look after the Forest and take part in positive action to help people and wildlife.”

Pointing out that 2019 is the 70th anniversary of national parks in the UK and has been designated a national ‘Year of Green Action’ to celebrate, he added: “The volunteer fair allows you to browse dozens of local groups all in one place, on one day, to find an opportunity that works for you.”

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