The Meaning of Membership: Part 2- Value in Volunteering

Written by Catherine Browne

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller

The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc) is made up of 16 branches & interest groups spread across the country, led by passionate volunteer committees, spreading enthusiasm and interest in the environment and promoting environmental education, awareness and conservation in their respective regions. We have a base of volunteers involved in hosting and assisting with BotSoc events and activities. We extend thanks to all of our volunteer members, those involved volunteering in SANBI National Botanical Gardens, with our branches and on the BotSoc Council- the over-arching body of our Society, for their contributions, services and support.

The BotSoc offers our members a range of volunteer opportunities nationally including but not exclusive to –

  • Involvement in citizen science plant monitoring of rare and endangered species with the SANBI Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW). CREW operate across the country and your involvement with them can make meaningful contributions to biodiversity conservation.
CREW active on the Rondenbosch Common, Cape Town ©Catherine Browne
  • Involvement in walks, talks and tours with BotSoc branches & interest groups. There are always interesting topics to share and different regions to explore- find out what BotSoc members in your region and your nearest BotSoc branch/ interest group are up to here.
Aloe Walk Simon 2014-06
Bankenveld Branch Aloe walk © Tony Bloomer
  • Involvement in assisting in SANBI National Botanical Gardens in a range of spheres from assisting in the herbarium; to helping the Millennium Seed Bank; potting; nursery sections support; the BotSoc bookshops; education
JJ Marais- trees in nursery. CBrowne (3)
Volunteer helping with potting trees in the Kirstenbosch Production Nursery ©Catherine Browne
BotSoc education volunteers share about biodiversity. Catherine Browne (2)
BotSoc member volunteer leads school outreach lesson in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden © Catherine Browne

We thank each and every volunteer for your time, service and commitment to our NGO, without you the wheels would not turn as easily and our national impact would not be what it is today.

“Volunteers are not paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless” Unknown

If you are interested in the Botanical Society and wish to also get involved and join our volunteers please sign up as a member and/or contact our Head Office for more information. Read more about BotSoc membership here.

10 Values in Volunteering

  1. No matter how big or small the act, you can make a difference.
  2. Volunteering brings people together. You can meet new people, establish relationships, network, unite with others from diverse backgrounds to work together towards a common goal. You can also learn teamwork.
  3. It encourages civic responsibility and is a win-win for the individual involved, the general public and the Society/ cause.
  4. You can learn, new skills, about humanity and about yourself.
  5. It strengthens your community. Enhance your community by supporting it, beautifying it and improving it.
  6. Volunteering will warm your heart. There’s simply nothing better than doing something you are passionate about and care for, while giving back.
  7. It’s good for you: physically, mentally, and emotionally. What better way to de-stress?
  8. It uses your time meaningfully and saves resources.
  9. You gain experience and skills– making you more of a holistic character. Volunteering is a great way to explore a career path.
  10. Volunteering promotes personal growth and self-esteem. It gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment, as well as helps you understand the needs of others and of the planet. It fosters empathy and appreciation.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” Winston Churchill

We hope to have inspired to you get out and about and involved in volunteering. You can gain so much by giving. We’d love you to volunteer with BotSoc and look forward to hopefully hearing from you soon.






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The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc) are an NGO conserving and educating about biodiversity for over 100 years.

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