One small step for volunteers

Posted: 16th March, 2017

Just in time for St Patrick’s Day, Belfast Zoo welcomed more than 40 ‘saintly’ volunteers to carry out a range of tasks around the Cave Hill site, as part of the annual ‘Be a Saint – Volunteer’ day!

The volunteer day was organised by Belfast City Council Community Parks Outreach team (North), Belfast Zoo and Volunteer Now; in partnership with Business in the Community.  This annual day of voluntary action encourages employers to release their employees to undertake projects within the community.  Employees from the Department of Communities, SSE Airtricity, Ulster Bank, Barclays, Lloyds Banking, Puppet, NI Housing Executive, NI Assembly, CISCO and Marks & Spencer took part in a range of activities at the zoo on Thursday 17 March 2017, including painting benches, painting wet weather shelters, enclosure maintenance work and they also painted animal footprints around the pathways of the zoo!

Wendy Osborne OBE, Chief Executive, Volunteer Now encourages: “Volunteers make a tremendous contribution to communities across Northern Ireland; many local organisations wouldn’t be able to deliver services deeply valued by many people without their time and dedication. This day of volunteering action is a great way for volunteers to make a difference in the community and have some fun at the same time”.

Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said “As a modern zoo we play a vital conservation and educational role for species facing increasing threats.  However, as a Belfast City Council facility and leading NI attraction, we also embrace our role as an involved community leader.  We were delighted to work with other organisations and the volunteers were extremely busy making improvements around the site including painting hundreds of animal footprints around the zoo paths; from tiny penguin flippers to giant elephant feet.  These footprints are extremely popular with our visitors and also help with navigation around our 55 acre site.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who organised the volunteer day and everyone who took part.”

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