Young Volunteer Story- Charlie Cottington

Charlie is a primary school pupil who volunteers his time to help look after animals and protect the environment. He is 10 years old and a Scout at the Orme Troop. But all his volunteering activities are outside his school and Scout commitments.

Scout leader, Ray Barnett told CVSC that Charlie has always been passionate about animals and the environment. On his 8th birthday he was asked what he would like to do for his ‘Birthday treat’ and  said he wanted to “look after animals”. His mother contacted ‘Idlewild Animal Sanctuary‘ and they agreed that Charlie could come and volunteer for the day. He therefore spent his birthday mucking out goats and pigs, cleaning their pens and feeding the poorly kittens.

After watching David Attenborough’s documentary series, Seven Worlds One Planet, Charlie decided to take further action. He was deeply concerned about the devastation of rainforests and the harm to orangutans. After talking to his mum, he chose to support the World Wildlife Fund. He has raised £1,000 through sponsored litter picks, a sponsored walk around Great Orme on Christmas Eve (!) and bag packing in a local supermarket. He donated all of this money to the WWF. Despite all the restrictions related to the Coronavirus pandemic, he still engaged in his passion for environmental protection and helping animals.

Ray was so impressed with Charlie’s efforts that he wanted to do something special to recognise this inspirational young man during the Annual Scouts’ Awards Ceremony. He asked CVSC for help as there was no official award Charlie could receive and CVSC Funding Officer Aled Roberts came up with the brilliant idea to contact Sir David Attenborough directly and ask for a few kind words, as well as Welsh naturalist and presenter Iolo Williams. CVSC Volunteer Co-ordinator Kasia Kwiecien prepared a special Certificate of Excellence and attended the Ceremony to present it to Charlie.

Sir David Attenborough, Charlie’s biggest hero, sent a personal letter of congratulations and Iolo Williams provided a certificate for the young wildlife enthusiast. These were presented by the Llandudno Town Mayor, making Charlie feel very special, and he was absolutely thrilled! The smile did not leave his face for the whole evening.

I was really honoured to be able to take part in this special event and give Charlie his well-deserved certificate. He is an exceptional young man led by compassion and full of enthusiasm. Seeing his surprised face and happiness, especially when he received a letter from his idol Sir David, and his mum so emotional as a result was such a wonderful experience. I’m delighted that I could represent CVSC and show our support for young volunteers and the amazing organisation- Scouts Cymru. Meeting young people like Charlie brings hope that the world can become a better place

Kasia Kwiecien, CVSC Volunteer Coordinator

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