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Helping communities engage with planning



The planning aid service in Wales was started in 1978 by a small group of committed and energetic volunteers. Ever since then volunteers have remained central to providing a quality planning aid service for the people of Wales.

Even now that Planning Aid Wales receives core grant funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, allowing a small staff team to be employed to co-ordinate activities, the contribution of volunteers remains absolutely central to our work and helps enormously in achieving our aims.

Increasingly, Planning Aid Wales offers volunteers opportunities to get involved across the spread of our activities.

Volunteers take on Helpline cases, advising and supporting individuals and community groups across the spectrum of planning issues.

Volunteers help prepare and deliver training for community groups, voluntary bodies and other organisations.

Volunteers can join the Board of Management as directors, and act as mentors to less experienced volunteers.

Volunteers help prepare publications, work on publicity, and organise events.

To find out more about the range of activities which volunteers can get involved in, click here.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer to help Planning Aid Wales, but only planners with appropriate qualifications and experience can give planning advice and support to Helpline clients.

Please note that volunteers do not have to be corporate members of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Why should I volunteer ?

Volunteering for PAW:

  • counts towards Continuing Professional Development
  • provides a useful ‘reality check’ by giving new perspectives on how the general public interact with the planning system
  • gives insights into new areas of planning activity
  • broadens experience of how other local authorities and / or sectors operate
  • widens professional networks
  • provides valuable experience of community consultation and capacity-building
  • refreshes interest and opens up new opportunities
  • gives access to low-cost, relevant training
  • allows planners who have retired, taken a career break, or work outside mainstream planning to keep up-to-date with planning issues
  • gives newly qualified planners opportunities to broaden their experience
  • develops ‘people’ skills
  • gives something back to the wider community
  • helps improve links between the general public and the planning system
  • is rewarding and enjoyable!

If you want to know more about volunteering with Planning Aid Wales, contact Angharad Hobbs on 02920 625 004 or by email.

If you would like to register to become a volunteer, please complete the online volunteer application form by clicking here.