A communications graduate with a real passion for nature conservation, Declan was already involved in volunteering with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust prior to joining Scottish Wildcat Action. He’s looking to continue to develop his skills whilst doing his part to help save the Scottish wildcat.
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Scottish wildcats have always been a fascination of mine. There’s just something so majestic and alluring about the idea of the UK’s only wild cat. Having been involved in some voluntary communications work with Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland I was already quite invested in Scottish conservation and when I heard that Scottish Wildcat Action was looking for a volunteer I jumped at the opportunity!
I’ve now been volunteering as a communications assistant with the project for the last few months. Working closely with my amazing co-ordinator Vicky I’ve helped produce the projects first e-newsletter, created some new banners for the website and put together some exciting posts for our social media pages, along with having a really great time! I’ve primarily been based at the offices of National Trust for Scotland, one of our partner organisations, but have also managed to fit in a trip up North to meet all the project officers, take a look at a camera trap and get up close with some real wildcats at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park!
The part of the role I’ve enjoyed the most has been some intense analysis of our social media and web performance. On the social media side I’ve essentially been looking at our facebook and twitter posts and checking out how many people are viewing them, along with how they’re interacting with them through liking, sharing, commenting and retweeting. On the web side I’ve been analysing how many people visit our website, how they get there and how they engage with the site itself. All of this statistical analysis has then helped me build up an understanding of what people like to see online. It’s allowed me to see what works and what doesn’t, what we can do better and what we should be doing more of to continue to engage with and grow our online audience.
Sadly my time with Scottish Wildcat Action has come to a premature end as I’ve recently been offered my dream job working in communications within a conservation charity. This is thanks in no small part to the invaluable experience I’ve gained through volunteering with the project and I cannot fully express how grateful I am for that! While I will be sad to leave the wildcats behind I can safely say I have had a truly amazing time being part of such an important conservation project and I will most certainly be keeping a keen eye out for what I’m sure will be many exciting developments to come!
To find out more or to apply for the Volunteer Communications Assistant role at Scottish Wildcat Action click here.
Scottish Wildcat Action is the first national project to save the highly endangered Scottish wildcat from extinction. It is a partnership involving over 20 organisations, including, Scottish Natural Heritage, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Government, as well as its partners.
See www.scottishwildcataction.org for more information.
This content was made possible by our Partners & Funders at Heritage Lottery Fund