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My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

My day as a volunteer at WDC

My name is Anne-Marie Bignell and I work in Stroud for Ecotricity as a Transactional Finance Manager. Ecotricity is a green energy company which encourages its staff to get involved in the local community. Part of the support given is to sponsors its staff to carry out voluntary work for 1 day a year in a local charity or worthy organisation. As I live in Chippenham and have a keen interest in the ocean and marine wildlife (one of my hobbies is wild swimming) I asked if I could volunteer with Whale and Dolphin Conversation.

I was lucky enough to get in touch with Tina Lambert to organise my day’s volunteering and it was arranged for 9th November 2016. I arrived on the day and was met by John who is one of the regular volunteers who works in the SR (Supporter Relations) team. Tina then gave me an introduction to the Organisation and the amazing work that is carried out to help to protect safe environments for the world’s whales & dolphins. She then took me on a tour of the office to meet everyone. This felt very natural and I was made to feel very welcome.

Next I spent some time with Owen Thomas, the organisations Trusts and Grants Manager who talked me through what his team does. He talked with great enthusiasm about how the organisation is funded and about how the money is used responsibly to continue the work carried out in conservation, education and in campaigning on behalf of these beautiful creatures who cannot speak out for themselves. He told me about shore watch. This is where volunteers carry out 10 minute surveys of their local coastline and report marine activity. This gives the charity invaluable data on habitat and behaviour changes that are going on around our coastline.

Tina had told me about whale and dolphin sponsorship. Later in the day I got a chance to do some hands on work preparing some letters for posting letters and brochures out to sponsors. Tina’s team have been lovely to work with and I felt right at home. Having a chat about all sorts of things from We will rock you to the winning of the American presidential election by Donald Trump made the time go by very quickly and the envelopes were soon all ready to go.

I would encourage anyone to volunteer with Whale and Dolphin Conservation, it is an amazing cause to do work for and the staff are incredibly friendly and welcoming. Thank you all so much for having me and especially to Tina and her team for hosting my day. 

How you can help

For every WDC supporter who switches their energy supply to Ecotricity quoting ‘WDC’ we’ll receive a donation of up to £60 to help us continue our work to end captivity and ensure that every whale and dolphin is safe and free. To find out more, or to get a quote, visit  www.ecotricity.co.uk/wdc

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.