I’m Jan and I’m a volunteer for Friends of Craigtoun.
I have been coming to St. Andrews on holiday with my family since I was a toddler and a highlight was always our visits to Craigtoun Park. I continued visiting when I had my own children, now grown up, who still visit to this day when in St. Andrews.
So, when I heard that Friends of Craigtoun were looking for volunteers I was very keen to become involved and help, even if in a small way, to keep the Park going for future generations. It is so important to maintain this outdoor parkland space close to town, for everyone to enjoy, young and old.
As a volunteer you just need to be enthusiastic and willing to help, as there are plenty of different ways that you can help around the park. You can help at the attractions, the ticket office, café, or behind the scenes if you have a particular skill that you think might be useful. At first I was nervous about what I might be asked to do, but there was no need to be worried as everyone is really helpful and welcoming, and full training is provided before you are left on your own. The staff have been wonderful and very patient with me.
Volunteers choose when they can help and can do as many hours, or as few, as you can manage, but you are always welcomed as part of the team and greatly appreciated for the work you do.
I am currently working in the ticket office and shop, which I really enjoy, as it is totally different from my former occupation, so makes a refreshing change. It is great to hear stories from families when they arrive about when they used to visit years ago, and they are now bringing their children or grand-children; it’s very satisfying to know I am helping with the survival of the park for many more generations to enjoy.
Friends of Craigtoun is a charity and as such depends greatly on support from the public and local businesses, as well as from its volunteers. So, if you have a spare few hours a week please get in touch and see how you can help.
At the 2019 AGM, Kyffin Roberts indicated his wish to step down as Chair but agreed to continue in the role for a further year to give us time to plan for the way head.
Several years ago, I was advised to attend an NHS sponsored fitness class in Cupar as I had health problems and it was there that I met Tom, a volunteer at Craigtoun Country Park, and Kyff Roberts, who was the Chairman of the Friends of Craigtoun Country Park. I live just five minutes away from the Park in Strathkinness but had not visited the place in over 30 years.
When I heard that Craigtoun was in danger of closing and that a determined group of people were going to try and ensure that didn’t happen, I was only too glad to help in any way I could. Like many people in this area, I had known and loved Craigtoun all my life and the thought of losing this gem didn’t bear thinking about.