Become a “Watchkeeper”! Volunteers are guided through a training process, with instruction in radio procedures, navigation, map reading, first aid and a whole lot more besides. This is an interesting and worthwhile volunteering opportunity.
You will work with our skilled and highly trained volunteers, through a very specialised training course with the result that you can become a Watchkeeper yourself with skills which are adaptable and flexible and could be used in full-time paid employment. A Training Pack will be organised for you which will identify the skills you learn and those which you still need to acquire. Not only will you learn how to approach new challenges in a competent and confident manner which are always useful when looking for paid employment, but other less obvious skills are always being learned through interaction with the public by using your first aid skills, patrolling the harbour or beach area, helping to organise events, or simply selling teas and coffees in our wee shop
We hold various public events throughout the year, including our hugely successful annual Polar Plunge in January, and it is hoped that all our volunteers participate in the organising before and during these events.
We work closely with HM Coastguard, the Police, the RNLI and are members of the Sea Safety Group. Beach and Harbour patrols are carried out regularly keeping watch on public safety and the general welfare of the environment. Wearing a Coastwatch uniform is not required until you are certain you wish to become a volunteer with us. All we ask of our volunteers is that you undertake to spend a minimum of 10 hours per month carrying out Coastwatch duties. An initial interview with our Station Manager would take place at the Beach Pavilion before a volunteering opportunity is offered.
Coastwatch Scotland, Irvine, is solely manned by a team of volunteers of varying skills and ages. We provide a lookout and listening station which monitors activity on the beach, the seashore, the river and the beach park to ensure the safety and the wellbeing of the public and any mariners within four mile off shore in conjunction with the HM Coastguard and the Police.
Travel details: Irvine Railway Station is about a mile from the Beach Pavilion, otherwise a bus will take you most of the way. There are plenty of car parking spaces available.
Minimum age: 16
Expenses details: No travelling expenses are paid to volunteers while travelling to and from the Coastwatch office. All other expenses (if any) are covered by Coastwatch.
Training details: Our new volunteers’ initial training course covers first aid, radio procedures, navigation and map reading. These can be converted into recognised qualifications by the RYA and SQA. Training is mostly in-house and our volunteers should attend weekly training sessions which are held on a Wednesday evening and occasionally at the weekends either inside the Coastwatch Pavilion or, if the weather is good, outside on the beach or in the Beach Park. We also have opportunities to train for DofE awards.
Support: Named Contact For Volunteer