Afghanistan veteran Sam Dunwell, 25, from Glaisdale near Whitby drew on the skills he learned in the Royal Marines when he joined a hi-tech operation to track rhino poachers in South Africa's Kruger National Park as a volunteer.

After a six-year career as Marine, which saw him serve two tours in Afghanistan and leave the service as a Lance Corporal, Sam now works on oil rigs as a derrickman. He found out about Veterans for Wildlife on social media, applied to lend a hand as a volunteer and recently deployed to help man and monitor an innovative Wide Area Surveillance System with a strong British connection - it's been part funded by the Postcode Lottery. Dubbed the 'Postcode Meerkat', the system uses an array of radar and electro-optic sensors to detect poachers moving illegally through the Kruger National Park. Smart thinking technology allows the system to pick up the difference between humans and animals in the wildlife-rich park.

Postcode Meerkat was developed by South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and is also funded by the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), a not-for-profit organisation that promotes cross-border conservation initiatives in Africa.

Previous Veterans for Wildlife volunteers who have worked on the Meerket system helped foil several poaching attempts by detecting poachers before they could reach their targets. Sam's presence provided much needed relief to the system engineers and SANParks staff who have been manning the Postcode Meerkat day and night.

I've had a passion for the military and wildlife from a young age, and Veterans for Wildlife gives me the opportunity to be able to use my military background to help animals at risk. It's a perfect fit. Poaching in Africa is a terrible thing; the greed of people feeding a market that can only be funded by the killing of a beautiful animal is something that needs to stop, and stop before its too late. I have done multiple things for charity in the past and never seen the end result of the money raised. Veterans for Wildlife is giving me the chance to see and experience first hand what is happening out in Africa and where the money raised is being used, along with being able to physically make a difference myself. I think that is the opportunity of a life time.