Centre for Alternative Technology

Britain's major centre for environmental inspiration and courses.




Gardens 7-Week Residential Volunteer – January 2019

Gardens Volunteer Role Description

Woodlands Volunteer Role Description

Volunteers are extremely important to our work here at The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), our achievements over the last 30 years simply wouldn't have happened without the hard work, inspiration and dedication of the initial idealists who founded the centre in 1975.

Here is a photo gallery that will take you on a journey, showing you how much CAT has relied on the sweated brows and willing hands of all our volunteers over the years.

See our photo collections on CAT's flickr pages for more pictures and an insight into the kinds of work volunteers are involved with at CAT.

Also read interviews with recent volunteers to learn about their experiences while working at CAT.

Ex-volunteers frequently want to settle in the area and find work locally or elsewhere and are often inspired to start new careers as a result of their stay at CAT.

The Centre currently has opportunities for:

  • Long Term Volunteer Placements -  See the links above
  • Local Volunteers - if you would like to come and do something at the Centre on a regular basis, do get in touch to talk through possibilities.

Additional benefits

FREE courses for Volunteers:

  • +12 months service =  2 free courses
  • +6 months service = 1 free course plus 50% off a second course
  • +500 hours service = 50% off two courses
  • +250 hours service = 30% off two courses

Volunteers should send an email to the short course team approved by their manager - confirming they are able to attend and have worked the requisite hours. Courses can be taken up to 12 months after their leave date.


Supporting the volunteers service

Dan in Engineering

Volunteers were responsible for starting CAT over 35 years ago. Today they still form an invaluable part of the CAT family.

Supporting our volunteers means that you help us do more work while keeping our costs down, but you also support the training and development of young people keen to help all of us move to a sustainable future.

"It allowed me the chance to acquire hands on experience, a real sense of achievement and enabled me to pick up invaluable skills from a trained professional. It was hugely satisfying seeing a project from beginning to end.” Dan Halahan, Engineering Volunteer

Previous volunteers have gone on to work at Forum for the Future, Greenpeace, CAT, Dulas Engineering, further study, to manage Anaerobic Digestion plants at Marmite, run eco-teams for Global Action Plan and work in marine conservation and gardening projects.

“Working hard, for free, is a serious contribution to the centre, each influx of committed eager and enthusiastic people brings a renewed sense of purpose to the centre.” Alana Hughes Gardening Volunteer

£1000 contributes towards a volunteer's costs, including travel expenses, a free hot lunch every day, safety equipment, tools and a place on two CAT short training courses.


  • Yes! I’d like to sponsor a whole placement and receive reports from my volunteer. Contact Sally Carr on to find out more about the scheme.


Thoughts of previous volunteers:

Tabitha and her building‘ I had a fantastic winter as a volunteer in the CAT information dept. It was a brilliant working and learning environment where I was surrounded by real experts in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, waste management and organic gardening. I am now continuing with energy efficiency advice working at the Centre for Sustainability in Bristol where I am using and building on the information I learnt at CAT every day!’ Louise Rutterford, Information Volunteer
‘ The experience of coming to CAT was made better by getting to live with a really great group of people that really strive to live sustainably.’ Richard Bridle Winter Engineering Volunteer
‘ It has been an excellent opportunity to learn about environmental issues, giving me invaluable experience of working in the Media department of a charity. Above all, it has been a very enjoyable part of my life.’Arthur Girling Media Volunteer


CAT appreciates the generous support of WCVA and the Welsh Assembly Government with its long term volunteer programme.