Here at Jodrell Bank, we are celebrating Volunteers Week 2023 and are taking the opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to our fantastic volunteers for all of their hard work. We wouldn’t be able to offer all of the amazing activities and special events that we do without their help.
Our Engagement volunteers are always willing to give up their free time throughout the school holidays to help us out during our busiest periods of the year. You might also have met them during our special events, when they go the extra mile to make sure everyone has an excellent experience.
Macclesfield Astronomical Society
Help from our friends at the Macclesfield Astronomical Society (MaccAstro) is invaluable when we run our stargazing nights.
They always bring with them a wealth of knowledge as well as some very impressive telescopes! Although we won’t be stargazing again until the winter when the sky is dark early enough, we hope to run some solar observing sessions during the summer holidays so keep an eye on our website for more details. We’re really grateful for all of their enthusiasm and expertise.
Our team of gardens volunteers recently helped Cheshire Wildlife Trust with our ‘Plant the Dome’ project. They removed some of the grass from the top of our First Light Pavilion dome and sowed wildflower seeds and young plants, with a view to increasing biodiversity and resilience to drought. Our volunteers worked hard and did a fantastic job – you can read more about the ‘Plant the Dome’ project here.
We’re also lucky to benefit from our beautiful arboretum, established by the founder of the Jodrell Bank Observatory Sir Bernard Lovell. The arboretum is home to an enormous amount of wildlife, and over recent years the Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers have helped us keep track of the populations with regular bird surveys.
This is the first year of the Jodrell Bank Engagement work experience programme. Students on placement with us have spent time shadowing staff members to learn all about how we share the amazing science and heritage of Jodrell Bank with school children, members of the public and special groups. Our work experience candidates have really enjoyed watching what we do as well as getting involved in operating our new Space Dome planetarium and delivering science talks – they have all done an excellent job and are clearly budding science communicators.
Although our work experience placements have all been filled for this academic year, our volunteering programme is rapidly growing. We’ll have a host of volunteering opportunities available over the summer and the rest of the year. If you’d like to find out more about volunteering at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement, please check the Opportunities page of our website.
We are proud to nurture a strong team, with many making their careers at Jodrell, and others passing through as they define their future. From a semi-professional footballer to cabin crew, we have an invaluable team of staff that work around their other jobs, hobbies, school or University, and if you've been to see us, you'll have met some of them.
As we mark its first birthday this month, we celebrate the tremendous achievements of this architectural masterpiece that has welcomed over 100,000 people and won numerous well-deserved accolades in the process.