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Volunteers and Friends.

June 11, 2013

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VOLUNTEER TALK:

What people are saying about us:

“Dawn Chorus Educational Initiative is an absolute authority on engaging people on urgent issues that matter. The influential community education programmes, led by this Community Interest Company, make a real difference to the lives of people who are welcomed and encouraged to participate in volunteering and admirably passionate activities that celebrate our heritage in style and offer high rewards to animals and the environment”,   Sarah B., supporter.

“Through the encouragement of behavioral change and by offering people opportunities to learn skills and get involved in making hands on practical contributions, Dawn Chorus is making a lasting, positive impact on social, environmental and animal welfare in our local communities. The activities build self confidence and personal satisfaction, drawing on the calming tranquility of nature, the arts and respect for each other and for animals, whilst growing understanding and appreciation of horticulture, wildlife, landscape conservation, culture  and heritage”,   E. Barley, supporter.

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Each year Dawn Chorus thanks our volunteers by holding a volunteers Valentine snowdrop walk. Previous popular walks when our volunteers have been blessed with glorious sunshine and  fabulous displays of snowdrops,  have taken place in Lambley, Lincoln, woodborough and Epperstone.  These interest filled, social walks end with visits to local churches and refreshments. In 2015, glossy ibis, lesser spotted woodpecker & a little owl were spotted in same field at same time by Dawn Chorus volunteers on the volunteers valentine snowdrop walk.

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We especially thank the volunteers who work at our partner animal sanctuaries, for the hard work they do. They turn up every day to work outside even in the worst of weathers. Animal sanctuary volunteers do some of the hardest, heaviest & dirtiest work. It is often very upsetting. Animal sanctuary volunteers have to feed  & care for animals every day, even on Christmas day; Kirkby Pet Rescue volunteer Celia said: “day off, what is that?”

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Dawn Chorus Educational Initiative works in the community and has built social capital which can be drawn on at times, such as now, when economic capital is short. Our studies  demonstrate that our contribution to building social & voluntary capital makes the community more resilient and self-starting, directly addressing social issues and having economic value; feeding into the local economy.

Our Vegan Cozy Kitchen: Dawn Chorus volunteers have been running our Vegan Cozy Kitchen Project since 1992. The project took off in popularity in 2000, during our millennium celebration. It is a virtual place for friends to share vegan recipes and chat about volunteering. Many popular recipes have been shared over the years; our Pinterest board is full of resources and supporters often request recopies and information on our Facebook page. Our most popular recipe ever was our Dandelion Fizz, traditionally made on St. Georges day.

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Help us as we strive to enrich lives, foster enterprise and build communities. From the Nottinghamshire coalfields to orphanages in the poorest countries of Africa, you can make a huge difference by helping people to gain skills and learn about well-being, food growing, sustainability, the natural environment, animal welfare, arts, crafts and cultural heritage.

What you can do to help? Bake off: can you bake a few cakes, sell them to your friends & forward the money to our good causes…then sit back and take all the praise for your great baking? Your friends will love you! Cup cakes & cookies? Yes Please!

We are asking you to hold bake sales, or office cake sales to raise vital funds. We can supply you with easy but irresistible recipes and leaflets to tell your friends about the important work that they will be supporting by buying your delicious cakes. email: info@dawnchoruseducationalinitiative.org.uk

You could make the vegan cake below, in a square tin and cut it into squares to sell to raise funds for our important work. Find the recipe by following our link to  “veganindulgence”, a blog by our supporter Andrew Jones.

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Andrew Jones volunteers to help run the “Earthwise” group and says: “It is a great pleasure to be asked to write this for Dawn Chorus. I became vegetarian in April of 2012 after reading the “animal issue” of Resurgence magazine but have always felt that it was really a stepping stone to veganism. Over the following months I became more and more uncomfortable with eggs and dairy and gradually began phasing them out. I became officially vegan in October 2012 and it has been the best decision ever and a lot more easy than I ever thought. Why am I vegan? Because ultimately we do not have any physiological need for animal products in our diets, and indeed to the contrary they cause a whole host of disease. So if we don’t “need” them I have to ask – is the continued abuse, exploitation and slaughter of animals for what is essentially a palate pleasure morally acceptable? Unequivocally the answer is no! Add to this the damage the meat and dairy industry causes to our environment and it is a no brainer really. I started my blog to showcase excellent and indulgent vegan eating.  I hope you can make and enjoy my cake.”

At Dawn Chorus Educational Initiative, our committed volunteers give their time to support others in the community. Our volunteers have really made a difference, working on creative and life skills projects. They often take urgent positive action for animals or the environment or continue to expand our community educational resources.

Our volunteers work on our lace heritage projects as part of our educational design history programme. It encompasses historical research, identifying local and regional uniqueness, raising awareness and appreciation of traditional local framework knitting, hosiery & lace buildings, that are being rapidly destroyed. We supply traditional local style craft tools, made from local, sustainable materials and encourage creative traditional skills, nurturing enterprising attitudes and stimulating cultural and economic benefits.

Our Dawn Chorus bird, designed by local artist Naomi McArthur, is featured one of our lace bobbins pictured below. Watch out for items for sale in our online shop. Some of the sales items have been made by our volunteers, others by mental health service users as part of training activities.

Our volunteers photographed a fine old crabapple tree, pictured below, on one of our guided walks. Volunteers pointed out the rows of hairs on the edges of the bud scales that assist winter identification. Unusually this tree was one in a loose row; they usually grow singly in hedgerows. Black birds were seen under the trees eating the fallen fruit and the caterpillar of an eyed hawk moth was spotted in a crevice.

Stories about the work of our wildlife welfare & rescue volunteers are very well received by the public, highlighting the appreciation for and realization of the importance of this work. Our volunteers do an inspiring job, with great passion, contributing to all aspects of our work. We celebrate the vital work of our volunteers during Volunteers Week and the value & impact that it has on people’s lives and our communities.

Volunteers on our guided family walks have helped children to see: a pair of dippers, a pair of barn owls, a pair of ravens and a pair of little egrets on just one walk. 

Dawn Chorus was a very close runner-up in a regional public vote for best community environmental group. We were nominated by Crown Estates. Only a very few votes decided the winning outcome. We enjoyed the activity and gained a huge amount of positive feedback. Laura Norton from Crown Estates said: “Everyone was really impressed with all the fantastic work that you do so a big well done, especially to your volunteers. “ We wish to thank everyone who voted for us and all of our supporters, we value every one of you. The colourful inflatable beetle, pictured below, was a crowd puller at this sustainability event.

In volunteers week, at the start of June, the Dawn Chorus & Juno Enterprise message is delivered directly to 18,000 third sector partners & supporters, with the help of social enterprise & third sector network partners. In addition, we regularly directly deliver messages to 169,404  individuals on work that our volunteers carry out, that is vital in the current economic climate. Updates on our work are sent out to every county and city third sector infrastructure organisation in the East Midlands. “Communications” continue to be a theme at Dawn Chorus. We are working with target online communities, on natural and cultural heritage, human and animal well-being, community education and third sector issues. Dawn Chorus campaign information has been networked to 71,197 individuals, through face to face contact, at conferences & with individuals via social networking. Our consultations with stakeholders have received positive feedback from 420 individuals on specific issues & feedback from over 910 individuals on general issues. Dawn Chorus has 5,024 supporters and 379 partners of which 136 are working partners and 243 are in our active co-operative network, some have been with us since 1985.

What a difference volunteers can make! Dawn Chorus volunteers have released birds that have recovered from treatment and rehabilitation, including garden birds that have been attacked by cats; our volunteer Andrew said: “it is great to see them flying high above the trees, healthy and free”. So a big thank you to our volunteers.

Our supporter & volunteer wildlife photographer Ellie sent us the picture below of a cute little fox; Ellie said: “Nothing like a bit of urban wildlife”; we agree.

One Comment
  1. Since 1985 I have witnessed Juno Enterprise build and admirably manage large scale partnership programmes. Joined with Dawn Chorus since the 1992, the organisation must have clocked-up thousands of valuable volunteer hours, which have benefited our communities; congratulations indeed!Comment posted by Keith-Von

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