When bats are most active (between May and September) BCT runs an out of hours (OOH) helpline, where volunteers answer emergency calls from the public in the evenings and over the weekends. Volunteers receive training in answering calls before the season begins, as well as full support from BCT staff throughout the season.
The project has been running successfully since 2004. Here’s how it all works:
- 2019 Volunteer shift times TBC.
- At the end of the working day a member of staff will divert the BCT phones to the volunteer on Bat Watch that evening (either their mobile or landline of choice).
- On weekends, Bat Watch is split into three (2019 times TBC).
- Callers to OOH hear an automated message explaining that the service is available for emergencies. They're given the option of either leaving a message (for non-urgent enquiries) or being put through to a volunteer.
- The following morning a member of staff will divert the phone back to the BCT office or, during weekends, to the next volunteer on Bat Watch.Common calls involve grounded or injured bats found by the public, bats trapped in people’s houses, newly-discovered roosts and planning and development queries. The OOH helpline can sometimes be challenging but also very rewarding. It would not be possible to run such a service without the volunteers and their help is hugely appreciated.
OOH Report 2018
2018 was one of our busiest OOH seasons so far! 48 volunteers took 2119 calls and donated a total of 1937 hours to bat conservation! A downloadable version of the 2018 report can be found linked below. It includes further information about the project and some stats and charts regarding what type of calls we dealt with and where the calls came from.
How to Volunteer
We are now recruiting for volunteers to help us with the Out of Hours season beginning May 2019. Please note that all participants will need to attend one of the Out of Hours training days (details TBC).
If you are interested in volunteering for OOH 2019, please contact Grace Johnson by emailing email@example.com or calling 0345 1300 228. We will contact you when details of training 2019 have been finalised to offer you the opportunity to apply. Volunteers are required to attend one of our 2 training days 2019. Details TBC.