Daniel Bowler from Mountsorrel has volunteered with the project almost every week continuously over the last three years and is always there at the start of the session and stays till the very end and this is after getting up at 6.30 to do his paper round! He gets stuck in with whatever tasks are thrown at him and often goes home with his clothes, face and hands looking more like he has been down a coal mine than at a railway, a clear sign of a hard day’s graft!
Daniel now helps to develop sub-projects behind the scenes, as well as helping on the recognised volunteer sessions. Alongside the heavy, physical work involved with reinstating the railway, Daniel plays an important part in the Project’s “Wildlife Warriors” ecology initiative. Daniel designed the group’s logo and helps his mother Caroline run the Warrior sessions. Children can attend with an adult, with a different focus at each session, and Daniel helps to devise the tasks for each event. He spent his 2012 Easter holidays building over 30 wooden ‘insect-hotels’ to be used by the children at a Warriors’ event. His resourcefulness allowed him to obtain the material needed for these as a donation from a local timber yard's scrap bucket, thus saving the project money. He thrives on helping and bringing enjoyment to other people and his devotion to the group has so far allowed over 150 children to experience and learn about the wildlife around Mountsorrel.
In addition, Daniel has helped as a young leader at 1st Mountsorrel Cubs every Wednesday night and goes on camp with them, helping to cook and serve the meals and helping with activities. Not content with that, he also designed their web site and now looks after it, keeping it up to date. Furthermore, he is now a member of Thurmaston Scout Band and gets involved with events and activities at Humphrey Perkins School. Last year he was involved with the school garden, giving up his lunchtimes to work on growing vegetables which are used in the school kitchens. He loves all things technical and loves to be involved in school productions, designing the sound and lighting for shows.
It is difficult to calculate precisely how much time he has given to the Mountsorrel Railway Project but it is estimated that he has given not less than 250 hours of his own time in the last 12 months. Also, it is probably true to say that a similar figure could be attached to his volunteering for the project in each of the previous two years. And all of this is before his other volunteering commitments.