Learn about becoming a Visitor Welcome Volunteer with us:
Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.
Thanks for your interest in volunteering with ZSL! Here’s a bit more about it:
The role of volunteers
Volunteers play a very important role in the life of the ZSL. They contribute to the success of ZSL by assisting staff, helping our visitors enjoy their day and providing excellent customer service at our zoos – ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Visitor Welcome Volunteers make the difference between a good day, and a great day! They provide a warm and friendly welcome for our visitors, have great stories to tell and things to show people, and give our visitors the chance to ask questions – whether that’s about tigers, tortoises or the nearest toilets. It’s all about providing excellent customer service, while using your enthusiasm and experience to get across our most important message – that animals are amazing.
We will train you so you will feel confident and knowledgeable, and you’ll spend your days moving around different locations at the zoo, usually for an hour at a time.
Whatever you’re doing, you’ll be helping ZSL achieve its mission to conserve animals and their habitats by improving the zoo experience so that our visitors leave feeling really inspired about the natural world.
ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are part of the Zoological Society of London, an international scientific, conservation and education charity whose mission is the conservation of animals and their habitats. We also employ over 70 scientists to carry out research in conservation science and manage conservation programmes in more than 80 countries around the world, including the UK.
ZSL doesn’t receive any government funding to run the two zoos so our income is generated entirely through donations and zoo visitors.
More than 1.5 million people visit the zoos each year and it is our aim to give them a unique and memorable experience, and hopefully inspire an interest in animals and nature.
Commitment of role:
This is a year-round role. We are looking for volunteers who can undertake one shift per fortnight, although more will be welcome! Full or half day shifts are available. Volunteers pick their slots using an online rota system month-by-month.
Main tasks you will be asked to undertake:
• You will be stationed at key engagement points around the Zoo, providing excellent customer service to visitors.
• You will engage with visitors at key locations around the Zoo, sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm about ZSL London Zoo e.g., exhibits and locations, restaurant and food outlets, the gift shop… and more!
• Supporting school groups to get the most out of their visit.
• Working alongside staff as the face of ZSL to assist visitors with their day out, ensuring they feel engaged and have a great day.
• Supporting visitors to enjoy interacting with our animals whilst staying safe, especially within our animal walk-throughs.
• Attending daily briefing team meetings on volunteering days to stay up-to-speed with visitor information.
* This role is based outside for much of the day in all-weather conditions and involves lengthy periods of standing so a good level of fitness is required. *
Who are we looking for?
• Positive, cheerful people who enjoy chatting with different people.
• People who understand what great customer service entails and deliver it consistently.
• Good knowledge of the Zoo alongside the willingness and ability to listen, absorb and keep up to date with new information.
• Great sense of direction and a good degree of physical fitness as this is largely a standing role.
• Proactive in noticing and responding appropriately to visitors or colleagues who may need assistance.
• Self-starters who will go and find the answer for a visitor.
• Able to use initiative, be reactive, flexible, and positive about any changes on the day.
• Good problem-solver who can turn negative situations around.
• Friendly, outgoing people who are articulate, confident and at ease approaching visitors and operating in a team.
• An interest in animals and conservation.
• Reliability, commitment, and regular attendance.
• Ability to demonstrate ZSL’s values – inspiring, innovative, impactful, collaborative, ethical.
NB. Volunteers must be aged over 18 years.
What do volunteers get out of it?
• The chance to meet new people and volunteer in a team of friendly, like-minded people.
• An opportunity to be involved in an international conservation charity and volunteer alongside wildlife enthusiasts as well as learn about wildlife and conservation.
• Training and an opportunity to learn new skills, especially in team-working, face-to-face communication, and customer service.
• A chance to volunteer in a beautiful natural environment, alongside our amazing animals.