Meet our volunteers
The branches network attracts a wide range of volunteers with different skills and interests. There is no typical branch volunteer but the following profiles give some insight into the backgrounds and motivations of our outstanding branch volunteers.
Science Brainwaves, Sheffield
I'm Head of Events for our branch - this involves coming up with ideas for activities, liaising with speakers and scientific experts, and supporting volunteers as they develop their own events. I also write news stories for our website from time to time, I write our monthly science pub quiz, and I'm quite handy with the video camera. I've been involved around 18 months and am a Science Communication student. I spend around four or five hours a week on my volunteering - a little more in the run up to a big event. I just can't stay away. I got involved with my Branch because I was already keen on science outreach from my undergraduate days as a chemist, but at the time it seemed like opportunities were few and far between. Science Brainwaves were really friendly and active, which was exactly what I was looking for! I'm also hoping to work as a science communicator in the future, so this seemed like a great way to get some experience. I love having the opportunity to try out so many different things - I've spent time with all ages and abilities, and taken part in everything from blogging and craft to cocktail making and extreme sports. You get to meet lots of new people who all love the same things as you, and it's a really welcoming environment to try out new ideas. I can't recommend it enough!
I’m a general committee member, I do anything! So far I have helped develop contacts with schools and colleges, I have created and delivered sessions to enthuse about science, a few years ago I think I was the events organiser! I started delivering sessions at The British Science Festival almost 10 years ago and then became involved in organising events with the West Yorkshire Branch in about 2007. The amount of time I spend helping the Branch varies, sometimes with larger events or school related workshops I dedicate a day each week plus preparation time, at other times myself and other members might be corresponding by email, it really depends on the event and the extent of my involvement. The best bit is you can decide how much of your time you want to give – its voluntary! I got involved with my Branch becasue it keeps me off the streets and allows me to put my science background to good use. Sometimes, I have the opportunity to talk about science without the constraints of the school's syllabus or the national curriculum. I just want to make science enjoyable, relevant and at push, almost ‘cool'.
I'm treasurer and also help out with organising our branch events and activities and have been involved for about 3 years. I organise our branches SciCraft nights, which explore science through craft. When I'm organising events it might be a few nights a week and the odd weekend that I spend on volunteering, but other times it's just chatting other Science London volunteers over email about what we've got coming up and new ideas we might have. I got involved with my Branch because I wanted to get more experience organising science events as well as in public engagement, so some of my friends, who were already volunteering, suggested I might like to help out. I enjoy volunteering with the Branch because it's good fun, and gives you the chance to try out ideas that you might not be able to anywhere else.
Moray & Highland
I am Chair of the branch and have been involved around 10 years. I spend about 20 hours a month helping out the Branch. I originally got involved because I was looking for a kind of umbrella under which people from different backgrounds could gather, to pool ideas and develop activity. I most enjoy going out to give a talk to a remote village and thereby helping to stimulate ideas, and also the new ideas and opportunities which come through activities like the T-Exchange - a development of the 'hackerspace' type, in which people bring equipment to experiment with, build, take to pieces, and there is the opportunity to share activity and discussion over a cup of tea - for instance at our most recent meeting I saw a Raspberry Pi and a 3D printer in action, and at our next meeting we'll all have an opportunity to solder some circuits.