Volunteer Spotlight – August 2023

Name: Mary McQuillan
Volunteer Since: 2018
Roles: Community Liaison, Office Assistant, Celebration Forest Committee

Why do I volunteer with ReForest London?

I volunteered with ReForest once while I was working, and then decided I liked being outdoors, planting trees, and cleaning up overgrowth.  It was nice to be outside!  And since I’ve retired, it’s a really nice way to meet like-minded people, have some fun and do worthwhile work, all at the same time.

What excites you most about working with trees or in the environmental sector?

The physical work is what I like the best. Obviously some of the trees are heavy, as is the mulch, but it’s a feeling of satisfaction to see the forests grow and thrive. 

Seeing different neighbourhoods in London is a bonus; to have people who are strolling by ask about what you’re doing. Ask how to get involved. Ask if their kids can help. Funny how you can live in London your whole life and know only your own area. Volunteering is a great way to see the city and meet people.

Which part of the volunteer experience do you enjoy the most and why?

The staff and volunteers at ReForest are a great bunch!  Staff are supportive of each other and the volunteers, and the volunteers are happy to offer suggestions and help at both the office and in the field. Summer students working their way through, providing new ideas and insights into the future, like composting, recycling, upcycling and sustainability, and are really eager and excited about what they’re doing and the contribution they’re making.  It’s really an awesome experience to have such positivity around.  

Thank you Mary!