Monday 3 June marks the start of Volunteers’ Week – a week where we’re encouraged to celebrate the amazing work of volunteers in communities across the UK. We have a wonderful array of volunteers that work with us at South West Lakes Trust from conservation heroes to fantastic fishing bailiffs, watersports warriors and site maintenance stars.

We wanted to use this opportunity to celebrate one of our valuable volunteers, Chris from the Roadford Lake Café

From visitor to volunteer 

Originally spotted at the cafe as a frequent visitor, Chris loved to engage with café and office staff alike and found himself itching to help out where he could. During one of his regular visits Chris approached us and asked if he could spend some time tending to the flowerbeds outside the venue. Our café manager Jake was delighted when just a few weeks later Chris had the outside of the café looking vibrant, alive and full of colour! 

Chris remained a regular visitor, occasionally helping with the garden, until he sadly lost his wife. He found himself spending a lot of time alone until his son encouraged him to volunteer at the café which helped him start engaging with other people again. 

Chris is now one of our regular volunteers spending time in the café welcoming visitors, sitting with people and getting to know their stories, helping them move to the most comfortable spots and improving experiences all round.  

As well as being a well-loved friendly face in the café, Chris still maintains some of the outside areas with help from some other regular volunteers. One of his most recent endeavours included planting over 60 daffodil bulbs in the planters outside the building – they have recently been in bloom and are a wonderful addition to the café garden! 

Chris takes pride in making sure the café is well presented and told us that he wants to ensure that every visitor has a wonderful experience when eating at the café and enjoying the lake. Having a friendly face that calls our cafe home is an honour and privilege we don't take for granted. 

Be sure to say hi to Chris on your next visit to the café, he’ll be sporting his orange volunteering lanyard and no doubt a dazzling smile.

We want to extend a huge thank you to Chris and our volunteers around the South West – without the amazing people who give up their time and inspire others to do the same, we wouldn’t be able to care for the lakes you know and love. 

How to get involved

We’re always looking for more volunteers off all ages and abilities – no matter the type of experience you’re looking for we can help you discover a new passion for the outdoors. There are four key areas of volunteering with South West Lakes Trust:

  • Conservation, education and maintenance
  • Working at visitor centres and receptions across the lakes
  • Assisting the activity centre team with on and off water experiences
  • Supporting the Angling team to deliver coarse and trout fishing 

With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something to suit you or your group. 

Find out more.