Becoming a Volunteer

CLICK HERE to see video about volunteering

What’s involved with volunteering?

There are many tasks involved with running a sanctuary. Every day there are dozens of cages to clean out and over a hundred animals to feed, water and check over. This includes wildlife, small pets, chickens as well as the large farm animals.

We also have a lot of maintenance activities from repairing fences to keeping vehicles running.  On top of all this, we have to raise around £70,000 a year to make this all possible.

We also like to spend time with our animals to enrich their lives, assess their personalities to prepare them for re-homing and to tame them.

How do I become a Volunteer?

Prior to volunteering, all newcomers are required to carry out basic training. This training commences with an induction, normally held on selected Saturday mornings. Following the induction volunteers then build on their experience by volunteering under supervision.

The sanctuary is run with by a hardcore of dedicated volunteers carrying out task throughout the day, every day. As the sanctuary has such a variety of different animals all having varying needs, volunteers need to have a level of experience gained over several weeks of volunteering, before they can be left unsupervised. As volunteers gain experience and gain our confidence, we reduce the supervision accordingly until they can help unsupervised.

Sadly this means we therefore cannot offer volunteer places to persons who want to volunteer for short periods, such as DOE Awards or short term work experience.

What does a typical day look like?

Times - Volunteers are needed from early morning, normally starting between 6am to 9am. Most of the main animal care work is completed by lunchtime, the afternoon is used for projects, deep cleaning and less priority work.

Whilst some people prefer to help at weekends, others help in the week.  Most help is required in the mornings when animals need to be fed and cleaned out, but there are other tasks later in the mornings in the week.

What are we looking for in a Volunteer?

Reliable - If volunteers fail to show up and let us down, this can put a lot of pressure on other volunteers, the animals still need to be cared for. We understand that sometimes there are good reasons why people can't come when they said they would, but we do need people to do their best to show up when agreed.

Age – Unfortunately as we have a lot of large and free ranging animals, we therefore cannot offer volunteer places at the sanctuary to persons below the age of 16.

Medical Fitness - We do not want people to put themselves at risk. If you have any concerns about your medical fitness, we advise speaking to your GP before volunteering.

If you would like to speak to a Trustee in private to discuss, this can be arranged.

Experience - We are not specifically looking for people with experience of handling or caring for animals, but you do need to be comfortable around them, small, wild and very large.

We need people who are not put off by hard, mucky work and who are enthusiastic and reliable.

Clothing - You need to come dressed appropriate for the weather and the likely tasks, generally you will get dirty, so bring your scruffs, Wellington boots and water proofs.

What will I be doing?

There are many chores that need to be completed every day and these start from 6 - 7am, a normal typical volunteering day consists of;

  • 6am - 8am - The animals are let out of their enclosures and some animals such as the pigs, horses, goats, sheep etc are fed.
  • 6am – 8am - The wildlife is cleaned out and checked over, some animals such as birds are fed.
  • 8am – 10am – Stables are cleaned out, hay nets filled and all water buckets filled.
  • 6am onwards, all animals checked to ensure they are OK, all have food and water.
  • Rest of the day;
    • Poo pick the fields
    • Clean out chickens, ducks, geese
    • Clean out rabbits
    • Project work

We need volunteers to come fairly early, ideally no later than  9am. There are tasks later in the day, but much of the hard work getting animals ready in the morning would have needed to be complete.

Can I do Work Experience?

Being run by volunteers, we don't always know who will be volunteering, particularly during office hours, from one day to the next, so there are not always experienced volunteers to supervise, therefore sadly we cannot plan for people who want to carry out work experience on fixed specific dates. Also we are unable to take short-term volunteering.

If you want to offer your services for a week or more, this is only possible if you put the hours in during weekends and in the week when we have experienced volunteers to supervise, only when you are experienced can we offer unsupervised volunteering.

Application Form

If you can offer help, please fill out the application form and return to by post or email;

Click Here to download an application form


Brinsley Animal Rescue

69 Hobsic Close



NG16 5AX


What Next?

You will need to attend a new volunteer induction day, we run these generally each month. Once we have received your application, we'll be in touch when a date for the next induction is confirmed.