New Galloway RSPB volunteer recognised

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A New Galloway RSPB Scotland volunteer who has raised thousands of pounds for the conservation charity has been named on the Independent on Sunday’s Happy List for 2015.

Brian Nolan, 71, has volunteered for the RSPB since 2006 and has donated hundreds of hours of his time for fundraising and other activities.

The Independent on Sunday’s list highlights: “the 100 people who make Britain a happier place to live”, and is created through nominations from the public.

RSPB Scotland’s area manager for Dumfries and Galloway, Chris Rollie, said: “Brian Nolan is a powerhouse of a volunteer! Whether he’s dressing up as a blue tit, making jam, running tombolas, or just shaking a bucket outside a supermarket, his fundraising efforts for the RSPB are tireless.

“But it’s not just fundraising. He donates several days of his time just about every week for tasks including surveys, giving talks and technical support at events, and talking to visitors at RSPB Scotland Mersehead. In particular, he provides huge support in various ways to the RSPB Galloway Local Group, which is based in Castle Douglas.

“I’m not surprised he’s made the Happy List, as whatever he’s doing, he’s always cheerful, and I think he deserves a lot of recognition for all his efforts. In supporting our conservation work in this way he certainly does enrich people’s lives. And his white-tailed eagle costume is simply fantastic!”

Since June 2014 alone, Brian has raised over £12,000 from over 100 pin badge collection boxes he manages throughout Dumfries and Galloway. RSPB pin badges are small metal pins depicting wildlife, which can be acquired through a variety of outlets for a donation of £1. Each collection box needs regular maintenance to top up the badges and collect the money, and managing so many boxes is a huge commitment of time.

Modest as ever, Brian said: “It’s nice for the RSPB to get some recognition for the positive conservation work they do. With nature under such pressure, I am just happy to help in any way I can, and it’s fun, too.”

There are many different volunteering roles available with the RSPB across Scotland. If you’re like to volunteer as a pin-badge minder, you can find details of your local community fundraising officer at: