Volunteering on St Helena

I think people might wonder how I’ve been keeping myself busy, but there’s quite a lot to do on the island…as well as the tourist stuff – in fact, we’ve still got to see Napoleon – not the man you understand, but his dwellings and (empty) tomb…..suddenly it’s all a bit of a race to fit everything in before we leave….

Anyhoo, I digress…there’s lots to fill your time with and if you’re so inclined there are plenty of volunteering opportunities.

You can help out the National Trust by spending time once a month shovelling and planting  and building stuff (I’ve seen some of these good works out on my walks, where they’ve built steps to make the walk a bit easier).

You can walk donkeys. Yes really. I’ve got that planned in soon. There are some poorly donkeys on the island, so they’ve rounded some up and are nursing them back to health. In order to promote healthy hooves, they need road walking, and this also gets them used to people…. I’ll let you know how that goes.

If you’ve got a bit of music in the blood, they’re always looking for help at the Prince Andrew School – I’ve been helping teach clarinet to beginners (which is fortunate – if they were more advanced they might realise I’ve not played the clarinet for some time!) This week we did a mini concert at the Community Care Centre, so my little clarinet quartet had their first gig and came through with flying colours.

I’ve also been helping out down at SHAPE (St. Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise) – they offer training, support and employment opportunities to disabled and vulnerable adults on the island. I’ve been making woollen beads (harder than it looks), paper beads (as you see in the picture) –  (very fiddly, but satisfying to pick the glue off your fingers when you’re done) and helping out with general marketing advice and a bit of practical help with their Facebook page (quite pleased with how that’s going – from no fans to 86 in less than a month).

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