Membership volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with ZSL.

We are currently not recruiting for Membership Volunteers.

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a world-wide scientific, conservation and education charity with an international reputation for the conservation of endangered species. ZSL was founded in 1826 and runs both ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and ZSL London Zoo; the Society also employs over 70 scientists to carry out research in conservation biology and manages conservation programmes in over 80 countries world-wide, including Britain.

ZSL receives no government funding to run the two zoos and income is generated almost entirely through visitors to ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Over 1.5 million people visit the zoos each year and it is our aim to give them a unique and memorable experience.

The role of volunteers

Volunteers play a very important role in the life of the ZSL. They do not take the place of paid staff, but they contribute to the success of ZSL by assisting staff, helping the visitors enjoy their day and providing excellent customer service.

Role description

Volunteers work alongside membership staff to secure new Friends of ZSL and generate income to support our wide-ranging conservation work. The role includes the following activities:

  • Welcoming visitors at the Zoo entrance and promoting the benefits of membership and answering general visitor enquiries.
  • Informing visitors about Experience Packages.
  • Stocking leaflet dispensers around the Zoo
  • Supporting staff in the Membership kiosk
  • Possibly assisting at recruitment stands at events and shows


We ask where possible for a regular and reliable attendance minimum of 3 hours either Saturday or Sunday, per week, fortnight or every three weeks.

Who are we looking for?

  • Friendly, outgoing people who are articulate, confident, and at ease with approaching visitors.
  • People who understand what great customer service entails and deliver it consistently.
  • Reliability
  • Enthusiasm and an interest in animals and conservation
  • A willingness to learn, follow instructions and keep informed
  • A good degree of fitness as you will need to walk across the Zoo. Activities are mostly standing up and a good part of the day is out of doors in all weathers.

What do volunteers get out of it?

  • An opportunity to be involved in an international conservation charity
  • A chance to be in a team of friendly, like-minded people
  • Doing something worthwhile in a beautiful and interesting setting
  • Training and an opportunity to learn new skills
  • Travel expenses will be covered for volunteers travelling to and from the zoo on their duty or training day. Receipts must be provided.
  • Support from a team leader, Volunteer Co-ordinator and live Interpretation Team Leader.
  • A range of benefits including discounted lunch and shop purchases.

How to apply for this volunteer opportunity

1. Please complete the attached application form and return it as soon as possible to the Supporter Services Assistant Manager, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Whipsnade, Dunstable, LU6 2LF, either by post or as an email attachment to Volunteers must be over 18. There is no upper age limit as long as you continue to be fit and active, able and willing to learn and remember new information and adapt to change as the Zoo develops. 
2. Due to the importance of recruiting people with the right skills, not everyone will be short-listed. Those who are short listed will be invited for an informal discussion and successful applicants undergo a period of induction. 
We are fortunate to receive many applications for the role. We aim to process applications to short-list stage within 4 weeks of the closing date. If you do not hear from us within this time, we regret you have not been short listed. 
3. Training is done by placing new volunteers with experienced ones, by providing a handbook of information, morning briefings and orientation activities. 
4. This opportunity applies to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Priority will be given to applicants living within the area and able to reach us public transport is very limited

We are not currently recruiting for volunteers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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