Volunteering in the New Year

Looking for ideas for a worthwhile New Years Resolution, or want to do something a bit different with your time in 2018? Here at Saltrock, we decided that volunteering is a great New Years Resolution, spending some of your free time helping a great cause is always worthwhile and it doesn’t have to take up all your spare time. There are a massive range of volunteering opportunities in 2018, so we have outlined some ways to help a variety of charities. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors in 2018, and find a way to help protect the environment and help other people.


Surfers Against Sewage is a great charity that aims to protect the UK’s waves, oceans and beaches so that everyone can enjoy them. They do this via creating volunteering opportunities, educating communities on achievable ways to protect the coastline, influencing governments on key issues affecting the coast, undertaking scientific research, and challenging industries to adopt higher standards to protect the environment, and informing the general public about the UK coast and ways in which it is affected, and how to help.

Volunteering can be undertaken as an individual or as a group. One of the main ways you can volunteer with SAS is to undertake a beach clean – in 2016, 946 beach cleans were organized, with 19491 beach clean volunteers, and 64 tonnes of marine litter were collected. You can join a community beach clean that already exists, or get lots of your friends and family to get together and organize your own big beach clean, or just pick up litter during your walks on the beach, the aim is to simply protect the beaches, seas and marine life from litter. SAS are aiming to create a network of 25000 community beach clean volunteers by 2020. Why not spend a little bit of your time in 2017 taking part in a beach clean and helping to protect the beaches for future generations to enjoy?

The Big Spring Beach Clean will be taking place at 300 beaches across the UK, and more details of this will be posted here so keep an eye out and make sure you join a beach clean near you!

Saltrock donate a percentage of the money raised by from charging for carrier bags in our stores to support the amazing work SAS achieve to protect British coastlines. Find out more here http://www.saltrock.com/corporate-social-responsibility


The Wave Project is an amazing charity that works with local surfers to help young people reduce anxiety and improve their emotional help. It started in 2010, when the local NHS Trust in Cornwall funded them to run a 6-week pilot scheme to examine if surfing had benefits on young people, and their results showed that going surfing once a week helped the clients feel more confident, improved their outlook and helped them have fun. After the results of this study, the Wave Project was formed, and gained funding, firstly from the BBC and Children in Need, but now from many more as the project continues to grow, and there are now different projects across the country, which use the same methods as the original pilot scheme, and gets local surfers to teach the clients how to surf.

The Wave Project is reliant on its teams of volunteers who help clients in the water and give them a sense of confidence and enjoyment – two of whom are our Saltrock Ambassadors Claire Smail and Andrew Cotton. Sessions tend to last about 2 hours, and are often on weekends and evenings, so are something you could fit in in 2017. It is a great way to help young people enjoy surfing and the water, and is definitely something you should consider if you love surfing yourself!


The Shark Trust was established in 1997 to provide a voice for sharks in the UK. Today, as a well-respected advocate for shark management and protection, the Trust works to safeguard shark and ray populations by advocating for science‐based conservation and sustainably managed fisheries, while also encouraging the public to get involved with shark conservation.

One of their projects, The Great Eggcase Hunt, is a great way to volunteer your time and get involved in something that helps the Shark Trust to get a greater understanding of the number and species of sharks around the UK. It involves finding eggcases on beaches and coastlines, then identifying them using a guide they provide, and then record your findings on their website. In doing this, you will be helping the Shark Trust to compile a database of shark eggcases around the UK coastline, giving them a greater and more detailed overview of the number and different species of sharks, and as a result they can propose conservation measures.

Why not spend some of your time in 2018 looking out for eggcases on the shoreline while on a family walk? They have an easy guide with instructions on how to go on an eggcase hunt.  It’s a great way to contribute some of your time for a great cause, and there are no set times, you can do it whenever you want, wherever and as often as you like.


Why not volunteer some of your time in 2017 towards helping out at the National Trust?

The National Trust is a charity that aims to preserve the nation’s heritage and open spaces for everyone to enjoy. They have over 775 miles of coastline, 248 000 hectares of land, and over 500 historic castles, houses, monuments, gardens and nature reserves under their protection.

The National Trust are always looking for volunteers to help with the vital work involved in preserving the landscapes. So whether your New Year’s resolution is to get active or get involved, volunteering with the National Trust is an exciting and sociable way to try new things, get outdoors and lend a hand to a great cause. It's also a brilliant way to gain the skills and experience that will continue to benefit you. If you're looking for incredible (and flexible) experiences, we'd love you to get involved. From Car Park Assistants at Baggy Point to Wildlife Monitors in Hartland they’ve got lots of voluntary opportunities available in North Devon, and across the country, and are always open to discussing what role might be right for you.

Below are some events that are coming up this year, why not attend some and help out a great charity? For more information, contact the North Devon branch on northdevon@nationaltrust.org.uk or 01598763306.

Family Volunteering: Bash & Burn 15 February, 11am-3pm

Bring all the family for this fun and rewarding day. Help the Rangers cut and burn gorse bushes and then enjoy toasting marshmallows on the fire at Morthoe. Booking advisable. Donations welcome. Suitable for children age 5+.

Build a boardwalk at Sandymouth Tue 10 April, 10.00am- 4pm    

Be a ranger for the day and help build a boardwalk at one of our favourite beaches

Beach Clean Bonanza Sun 22 April, 10am-4pm

Bring all the family and help with the Spring Beach Clean, joining forces with the Plastic Free Movement and helping to clean up all of our beaches.