Guide to Becoming a Volunteer

August 2020

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless,
but because they’re priceless.”

– Sherry Anderson

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) is the result of many years of voluntary effort. The value and values of volunteering are woven into the organisation’s fabric. It is a local citizen’s initiative to be proud of. The space for volunteers is expanding. To help you think about taking up a volunteer membership, this brief guide relies on information to be found on other pages of this website. Please look at them first.

Q. Where does volunteering fit into the GCBR?
From other website pages you will know what the GCBR does, where and why. Signing up as a volunteer adds to the GCBR’s capacity and capabilities by becoming a reliable source of knowledge, time, energy, networks, information and whatever else makes sense. But it means more. What the GCBR achieves stems from co-production with committed individuals and communities: this is the fit! The diversity you see in GCBR’s work explains why volunteering is not one thing, or of one way, or of one role. Co-production offers both formal and less formal ways of volunteering. One example of the first is volunteering on the Board of Directors: people prepared to be accountable for what the organisation does for the public good. A separate page explains how to become a Board Director. Less legally formal and more tailored are individuals signing up as volunteers. How this works is described next.
Q. How can you engage as a GCBR volunteer?

The initiative to become a volunteer starts with your own passion. So, be clear about and able to explain what drives you to commit energy to the GCBR and its work. Why translate your enthusiasm into action in this way? What can you contribute? Is it specific to a GCBR project, is it your own proposal, or do you want to make what you have to offer, on call? Each has a different starting point for engaging.

If you wish to volunteer on a project, the starting point is to talk with the relevant Project Manager shown on our website. He/ she will ask for your registration as volunteer to be recognised as a project-supporter.

If you have a concrete proposal for applying the volunteer support you can bring, or have an idea for leading or co-organising an initiative, please get in touch with the leadership team via They will get in touch to see what would work best mutually.

If you want to make your expertise, knowledge, contacts or other resources available that the GCBR can rely on as needs arise, please register via the web-form provided.

We look forward to working together.