Covid-19 has presented a number of challenges since the start of the year and we are delighted to announce that, with the easing of restrictions, we can now begin to welcome wider Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels volunteers back into the field in perfect time for National Volunteers’ Week.
We want to start by thanking everyone for their patience over the last year. We have been blown away by the enthusiasm and commitment that volunteers have shown throughout this difficult time. Creativity is one thing that certainly hasn’t been restricted, as we’ve witnessed Red Squirrel Network Groups adapt and rise to the challenge – from producing calendars for raising funds, to engaging with local schools and sharing educational activities online. Together, we’ve been able to continue raising awareness for red squirrel conservation in Scotland.
Following the latest Government guidelines, we have produced new advice on Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels volunteer activities which can now recommence in areas Level 2 and under, where restrictions on the number of people meeting outside or indoors can be met, and a Covid-19 Risk Assessment followed.
- Volunteers can now undertake operational survey work, which was previously suspended
- All face to face training activities can now recommence, including trail camera and operational survey training for volunteers
- In-person Volunteer Network Group meetings can now commence, adhering to Government guidelines on meeting others indoors or outdoors
- Leaflet drops are now permitted for volunteers
- As highlighted in our December volunteer announcement, grey squirrel control volunteers can continue their work in the field
We ask those looking to return to volunteering, to be proactive in monitoring changing Covid-19 guidelines in your local authority area, by regularly visiting https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/.
Prior to commencing any new activities, a Covid-19 Risk Assessment will need to be reviewed. This can be accessed through the Community Hub Grey Squirrel Control Group documents for control volunteers, or by contacting your local Community Engagement Officer or Conservation Officer for other volunteer activities.
We will continue to keep all of our volunteers fully informed of any changes to guidance and if you have any questions or concerns around outdoor volunteering at this time, please contact your local Community Engagement Officer, Conservation Officer, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.