At some point in our lives, we’ve all voluntarily donated our time in the name of conservation. Whether it’s getting vital experience for our CV, honing our skills, or simply for the love of nature. But is there a point in working without pay? Does it actually help you get a job? And when does volunteering cross a line into exploitation?

We pitch these important questions to our panel to explore the perspectives from NGOs and the volunteers on which they depend:

  • Lucas Ruzo – CEO of ‘Citizen Zoo’
  • Roisin-Beck Taylor – project manager of the “WildHood” festival;
  • Emily Strong –  ecosystem health officer at WWT
  • Jeff Knott  – Director Eastern England

Chaired by Isla Hodgson, Specialist in human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife journalist and associate director of AFON.

Isla Hodgson

Lucas Ruzo

Roisin Taylor

Emily Strong

Jeff Knott








Our panellists:

Lucas Ruzo: Lucas is the CEO of Citizen Zoo, a social enterprise working to pioneer community engagement and rewild our future. Lucas is also a Trustee for ACES, a charity that develops nature based solutions to mitigating climate breakdown, alleviating poverty and conserving mangrove forests in Kenya.
Twitter: @lucas_ruzo

Roisin Beck Taylor: Roisin is project manager for WILDHOOD Children’s festival, which aims to disconnect children from tech and reconnect them with the natural world, heritage crafts and storytelling. She is also project officer for the RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project, working daily on advocacy and communications to raise awareness of the continuous illegal killing of hen harriers in the UK. Volunteering internationally both disillusioned her to the benefit of charity, and also encouraged her to seek out career opportunities in the charity sector. Roisin also writes on issues of mental health, academic strain and how the natural world and work can contribute to a greater sense of wellbeing.
Twitter: @roisinbt

Emily Strong: As an Ecosystem Health Officer for WWT, Emily works on a diverse range of health-related projects, including lead poisoning, avian influenza and human health & wellbeing.
Twitter: @emilyastrong

Jeff Knott: Jeff has been a volunteer since he was 13 and first dropped into Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory. As well as remaining an active volunteer for the BTO, RSPB and others, Jeff is now Regional Director for the RSPB in Eastern England.
Twitter: @jazzy_jeff44



Date(s) - 17/08/2019
11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Wild Zone