From Feb 2nd 2015 to March 14th 2015, I'm going to volunteer for the Ara Project in Costa Rica and help save some beautiful Macaws! The Ara Project is a charity which is committed to the conservation of Scarlet Macaws and Great Green Macaws. There are only thought to be 35 breeding pairs of Great Green Macaws left in Costa Rica. Their research and breeding programmes are vital for protecting the long term future of this species. I discovered a passion for birds, especially parrots, when I began working at the Tropical Butterfly House, a popular animal attraction in Sheffield in April 2010. I am now head bird trainer and presenter and, whilst I work with a variety of parrots and birds of prey, still have a real soft spot for Macaws. I am lucky that I'm able to reach a large audience at the Bird Displays and can help raise awareness about endangered animal species around the world. I've helped to raise thousands of pounds for charities including the Madagascar Flora and Fauna Group, VulPro (saving endangered cape vultures) and, most recently, the Ara Project. I've also done my own personal fundraising challenges, including having a Tarantula on my face for BBC Children in Need in 2014, and a skydive from 15,000ft to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. My employer supports my passion to go and get involved and is kindly allowing me to take 6 weeks off work but I won't be paid for this time. The position with the Ara Project is voluntary and I must pay for my travel, vaccinations, accommodation, food and any other expenses (plus my bills back home while I'm away!). Whilst I'm sure there will be amazing fun parts and spectacular wildlife to see, the 6 weeks will still be a tough challenge - I will be working 6 days a week in hot, humid conditions, with creepy-crawlies I don't even want to think about , completing lots of physical work such as collecting food for the Macaws from the rainforest, cleaning enclosures, building enrichment items for the Macaws and anything else I'm needed to do. This will be my second big voluntary project. A couple of years ago, I spent 3 months in Dullstroom, South Africa, volunteering at a bird of prey sanctuary. I worked 7 days a week, including my birthday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day and funded the whole thing on my own. This time, I would really like to be able to enjoy doing some real good for this charity, without having to worry about funding it completely by myself. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story, and I am really grateful for every single pound I receive in support of this project!