Flat Holm Island welcomes international volunteer for first year-long placement


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This International Volunteer Day, Sunday December 5, Flat Holm is celebrating their first year-long placement with a new volunteeron the remote island, five miles off the Cardiff coast.

Young volunteers from around the world, aged between 18 -30, were invited to join the programme. Those who applied showed an interest in the Island's wildlife, environmental education, nature conservation and history.

Flat Holm's first long-term volunteer, Pierre Court from France, has now taken residence on the island with plans for two further volunteers from France and Spain, due to arrive early in 2022.

The volunteers willbecome part of the Flat Holm Project and work closely with the Warden and the team to manage and develop Flat Holm Island's natural and cultural heritage for educational and public benefit. The volunteers will work closely with the local community as well as Friends of groups, such as the Flat Holm Society.

Volunteer, Pierre Court, said: "Picking Flat Holm for my volunteering made sense to me on many levels. Whether it is its unique setting and location or its quaint British atmosphere, Flat Holm first and foremost appeared to be the perfect place to partake in a project based on sustainability in a world where environmental conservation has never been more crucial.

"Flat Holm also acts as a living example of the various public policies that have been undertaken by Wales and its people over the last few decades. As an extremely green and sustainable nation, Wales has been endowed with pristine landscapes which need to be protected. Furthermore, the idea of only being with a few other volunteers and a warden also fulfilled the desire I had for tranquility and small sustainable communities."

Pierre continued, "I have always felt a strong attachment to conservation, wildlife and nature as a whole. Whether it is gardening, hiking or landscaping, outdoor activities have revealed themselves to be major interests of mine over the last few years.

"Volunteering for one full year as part of the European Solidarity Corps is also a wonderful opportunity to progressively move to another trade thanks to the expertise and advice of the people surrounding me during this project."

Team Leader for Environment, Groundwater, Contracts, Community Liaison & Flat Holm, Natalie Taylor, said: "Volunteering has always been at the very heart of the island welcoming hundreds of 6-month placement volunteers over the years, but we are very excited to be part of this international volunteer programme.

"It is important to us that we can offer opportunities wider than just the UK and we know that the sharing of skills and culture will be a rich and valuable experience benefiting the island and the volunteers."

Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: "I'm delighted to welcome Pierre and our volunteers to Flat Holm Island.

"The power of our volunteers has been particularly prevalent over the last 18 months so it's really great to have them on board, especially with their vast experience as well as an understanding of the importance of sustainability and environment on our unique island.

"I wish them all the best in their placements and hope they enjoy everything Flat Holm - and Cardiff - has to offer."

The programme, run bythe European Solidarity Corps Programme from EU Funding and coordinated by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), works with organisations in Wales and volunteers from across the world to organise projects that bring international volunteers and Welsh communities together.