I started volunteering at the RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve back in October, working once a week in the visitor centre. I applied for a number of reasons; my interest in wildlife and conservation being one and the fact that I work from home another.
I don't commute to an office or a studio and I don't have colleagues in the traditional sense (unless you count the two cats!) At times, this can become a bit isolating and every so often it gets to much, so I do really enjoy the days I can get out of the house, even if it's for a supplies run or a brief trip to the post office.
It's funny; when I first looked into volunteering, I had no idea that there was an RSPB site just 20 minutes from my door. I finally got the opportunity to walk the reserve itself a couple of weeks ago (only 3 months after starting work there!) and spotted some wonderful species of bird, including long-tailed tits, cormorants, canada geese and a kestrel, as well as my very first sightings of wigeon, lapwings and greenfinches. I'm slowly learning about the site and it's inhabitants and meeting wonderful people too; I even had the privilege of meeting Mike Clarke, Chief Executive of the RSPB on Wednesday!
I'm really pleased I've found a way to balance my work with my other interests. With the amount of time I spend on portraits, I often forget it's important to step away and allow myself time to refresh. There are definitely pros and cons to working for yourself!