- Becoming a Volunteer
- Questions & Answers
- Application Process
We are all volunteers carryout every aspect of running the charity from fundraising to animal rehabilitation, administration to maintaining our vehicles and equipment.
Volunteering is rewarding yet can be quite demanding, we need people who are both reliable and dependable, who are willing to work hard outside in all weathers. In return you should enjoy your time with us, amongst friends and amazing animals.
We encourage an open-minded, friendly and welcoming environment, we have volunteers from all walks of life
As we have a huge variety of animal types, it is a unique opportunity to gain so much experience and learn. One day we might be clipping the nails of rabbits, the next bTB testing our cattle herd, and everything in between.
Current waiting list is 3 months from submitting an application.
2. Becoming a Volunteer
There are many tasks involved with running an animal rescue. Every day there are many cages to clean out and over a hundred animals to feed, water and check over, this includes wildlife, small pets, chickens as well as 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 £150,000 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?
All new volunteers are required to submit an application (see below) and then attend an induction, normally held on a Saturday mornings, we hold one a month. 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.
Unfortunately due to the level of supervision we have to provide during training, we are not able to offer volunteering potions for short-term volunteering.
What does a typical day look like?
Times – We need volunteers to come fairly early, ideally 8am but 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.
Most of the critical tasks are from early morning and are completed by midday, we need volunteers who can arrive around 7- 8am and certainly no later than 9am.
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 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, yard swept, hay nets filled and all water buckets filled.
Rest of the Day;
- Poo pick fields.
- Animals checked to ensure they are OK, all have food and water.
- Clean out chickens, ducks, geese.
- Clean out rabbits
- Project work
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, no matter what the temperature or weather.
Age – We have large and free ranging animals, we therefore cannot offer volunteer places at the sanctuary to persons under 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. We will do all we can to accommodation you without putting yourself or others at risk.
Supervision – As we are run solely by volunteers, we can only provide supervision during the induction process. If a volunteer requires on-going support and / or supervision such as from a guardian or carer, the person providing such support is required to also complete the same induction process and provide the ongoing support throughout any volunteering.
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 waterproofs.
3. Questions & Answers?
Q. Can I do DoE or Work Experience?
As part of our induction process, once new volunteers have had an induction, they need to be supervised by experienced volunteers until they are familiar with each activity. As we are all volunteers there are not always experienced volunteers available to supervise, therefore sadly we are not able to support work experience or short term volunteering.
If you want to offer your services for over at least two full weeks, this is only possible if you put the hours in beforehand during weekends and in the week, when we have experienced volunteers to supervise, prior to your work experience.
Therefore for shorter term work experience or DoE (minimum 100 hours);
- Submit an on-line application.
- You will be invited to an induction when places are available.
- Complete at least 10 hours supervised volunteering (8am to 11am).
- Arrange work experience / DoE weeks.
Q. What age do I need to be?
The minimum age for volunteering is 16.
Q. Do you offer apprenticeships or paid work?
Everyone at the sanctuary is an unpaid volunteer, we do not have the financial income to employ any staff.
Q. Can I volunteer in the wildlife hospital?
Working with wildlife involves a lot of additional supervising and training, therefore we are only able to offer this opportunity to persons with wildlife rehabilitation experience or volunteers that have been with us for sometime and proved themselves to be reliable and regular.
Q. Can I volunteer if I have a health condition?
Should you have any concerns regarding your ability, we recommend that you first seek medial advice. You can request to talk privately with a Trustee regarding any questions, concerns or limitations, we aim to accommodate, where we are not putting others animals at risk.
4. Application Process
1 – If you meet the criteria and feel that you can offer long-term volunteering, please complete our online Volunteer Application form:
2 – Once an opportunity becomes available you’ll be invited to a new volunteers induction, these are generally held on Saturdays mornings.
3 – Following the induction, you’ll work closely with one of our experienced volunteer until you are ready to volunteer un-supervised.
If you have questions please feel free to email us with using the address above.