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New project to develop green volunteering opportunities taking root in Nairn

This new project created by Green Hive and funded by Volunteering Support Fund - managed by Impact Funding Partners on behalf of the Scottish Government will provide in-depth and tailored support volunteers over the next 3 years.

Green Hive will be working with local organisations to help refer members of the community to Green Hive for volunteering opportunities and to create future volunteering and employability options for Nairn.

The Taking Root Project has been designed to strengthen Nairn’s community resilience and response to local environmental issues - like littering and invasive species management, whilst bolstering a communal sense of pride in Nairn’s green spaces.

Neil Mapes, Manager at Green Hive commented ‘Receiving this funding enables us to proactively reach out into the community and share opportunities with a wider range of local people. It will support us to build confidence, skills and employability all focused around people taking positive environmental action locally.’

The project will be measured through the progress of the volunteers in terms of wellbeing, increased confidence and autonomy, the skills they develop and employability prospects whilst keeping track of the projects impact on the local natural environment.

The volunteers are central to the project and will shape how it develops over the next 3 years including giving them opportunities for growth and personal development.

Opportunities include learning about sustainable living through an ideas garden, orchard maintenance, organisational management, specialist training opportunities and joining the weekly fabric and plastics workshops to potentially joining the Green Hive board and shape the vision and future strategy of the organisation. Plus volunteers will be involved in invasive species work on the river and breach cleans.

The new Waste Champion and Invasive Plant Species Detective roles will run alongside the much-loved orchard maintenance days and new sessions designed around e-bike maintenance and Idea Garden volunteer sessions.

The Waste Champions will work together to track and tackle the local litter hotspots and to report on their findings. This activity will be split into two roles - 1) Scouting and cleaning up Nairn’s green spaces bringing waste plastic in for Green Hive to reuse 2) Conducting litter surveys and analysis to stop litter at the source.

Working together with the community projects worker will schedule area checks and cleans, reaching out to the Nairn community to find hidden litter hotspots and promoting a “leave no trace” mentality.

The Invasive Plant Species Detective will train a core group of volunteers to help identify, report and manage the spread of invasive non-native plant species along the River Nairn. This group will also be an integral part of public awareness-raising events, helping to educate the community about the importance of biodiversity conservation work.

During the project the volunteers will receive one to one support from Caroline Woods our community projects officer.

Caroline Woods commented ‘This funding comes at an exciting time for Green Hive with lots of unique initiatives for volunteers to get involved in. With so much going on people can get involved in areas that interest them and we can work together to develop skills and confidence in a tailored way to each individual.’

Volunteers will be signposted to other local volunteering and employment opportunities throughout the project to enable them to expand on their experiences and skill sets.

To get involved, sign up as a volunteer or for more information on any of these activities in the project, or about the project in general please contact Caroline - Community Project Worker (

Taking Root Project Outcomes

This project has several key outcomes that we are looking to achieve over the next 3 years:

  1. Increase diversity in the third sector’s volunteer pool, to particularly include people who experience disadvantage or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering.

  2. Improve governance, leadership and financial knowledge of organisations through the recruitment of skilled volunteers to enhance the third sector's capacity.

  3. Improve organisational capacity to provide opportunities for skills and personal development through volunteering.

  4. Enhance services delivered by organisations to better meet the needs of the communities they serve.

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