Greater community involvement a key benefit of volunteering

13th April 2018

Greater community involvement and a sense of achievement are top of the list when it comes to the benefits of volunteering with the Land Trust.

This is the personal experience of Morag Scargill, a former primary school teacher who, outside of school, had little experience of active involvement with community groups.

Morag has now been an active volunteer at the Countess of Chester Country Park for five years and has just taken over as Chair of the Friends organisation allied to the country park, driving forward a range of community initiatives and events including a special World War One remembrance project inspired by a fallen cedar tree.

She said:

“I have loved getting involved. I think the park is a wonderful community amenity. It is easy for people to say – oh, they should do this and they should do that. Sometimes that person has to be you!

“Working here is a tonic. You switch off. You’re active and it’s mentally and physically enhancing.

“When it all started, we knew we were getting a country park that would help the environment, conservation and people’s health & wellbeing. What we hadn’t appreciated was the sense of community that we’d get, meeting new people and developing new skills. We’ve made some amazing friends. It’s the people who make the park. People bring it to life.”

Her house is so close to the site, she has been able to watch as the land has been transformed from little used scrub and landfill waste into a well-maintained, public park with paths, various habitats and increased biodiversity.

Now people enjoy a wide range of activities from Nordic walking and buggy fitness to community gardening and a hugely popular Saturday morning Park Run which regularly attracts more than 300 runners.

“When I look out from our house and see people enjoying the park, all day, every day, it’s very satisfying to be part of that journey – to be making a difference.”

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Morag Scargill volunteering


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