The Volunteers

The Volunteers: A Memoir of Conservation, Companionship and Community

Paperback Published on: 08/08/2024
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Published 08/08/2024
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Synopsis

"A gentle, warm, vulnerable book that buzzes and sings and blossoms... Donaldson shows that it is not just nature that benefits from working with the earth - the human soul heals and grows too. With lives as tangled and bright as the wildflowers in the verges, this book is a joy to read. " - Mary Colwell, author of Curlew Moon and The Gathering Place

A heart-warming true story of the woods and wildlife, conservation and community, perfect for fans of Detectorists and The Outlaws

When Carol's world suddenly unravels, leaving her single and jobless, she stumbles upon an unexpected opportunity: leading a ragtag team of countryside conservation volunteers. At first glance, the prospect of nurturing Britain's diverse wildlife in the great outdoors seems like a dream come true. However, reality paints a different picture: her office is a ramshackle porta-cabin overrun with mice and plagued by leaky ceilings, and the volunteers are far from impressed with her lack of practical skills.

Despite this rocky beginning, Carol gradually earns the respect of her eclectic group of volunteers, forging a tight-knit community that will grow to become essential to each member. This diverse group spans generations, from twenty-somethings to septuagenarians, with each of them looking to get something different out of volunteering, whether it's a sense of purpose, a fresh start in life or a tick on their community service form. They also bring their unique quirks and life experiences to the mix.

Volunteer days soon evolve into the highlight of Carol's week, as they bond over their love of nature, mental health battles, and the desire for companionship. As they work together outdoors, the team discover a simple yet powerful recipe for self-confidence, improved well-being and a newfound perspective on life's challenges. This journey not only brings solace and new joys to Carol's weeks, but eventually it helps her move on with her life, too.

The Volunteers is a heartwarming tale that celebrates the redemptive force of the woods and wildlife. It underscores the universal need for belonging and illustrates how, even in the most unexpected places, we can find a community to call our own.

  • Publisher: Octopus Publishing Group
  • ISBN: 9781837993277
  • Number of pages: 304
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm

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