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Volunteering- how can I help animals in need?

We get many people asking us if they can volunteer with animals, and cleaning out pens and cuddling cats understandably seems to be a very popular request! However we do not have an animal centre so we cannot offer a volunteer role that matches this criteria.

We really appreciate these offers of help, however did you know that helping animals in need is not just about their direct care, such as feeding, cleaning their bedding or having a cuddle with them? Here is a little insight to what goes into running an Animal Welfare Charity and what volunteer role you can do that will really have an impact on animals in need.

Behind the scenes our Animal Welfare Team (AWT) are working hard to ensure all the animals in our care have everything they need. This involves taking them to the vets (we do not have our own vets), securing them a temporary home with our fosterers, the rehabilitation of any sick or injured animals along with special care (day and night) and finding forever homes for the animals that are ready. They also take animals that are brought in last minuet from the National Inspectorate and manage the rehoming waiting list, meaning as soon as we have some space, we may be able to take another animal into our care. They also receive many applications for subsidised neutering vouchers or financial aid requests from the public and ensure they get these dealt with as soon as they can.

Our Central Services Team takes calls from the public and responds to enquiries via email and letter. They also support other departments such as the AWT by putting requests through and recruiting volunteers. 

Branch finances, membership, training, policies and procedures, health & safety, safeguarding, blogs, newsletters and the management of social media are also some of the other tasks carried out by the CS team.

All of this is an essential contribution to successfully run an Animal Welfare Organisation. However, these are only two of the four departments that we have at our Branch! We also have our Education and Events department and our Income Generation and Retail department too and this is where you step in!

Our charity shops and eBay store are the backbone of the Branch, bringing in the much needed funds so we can keep on helping animals in need in your local area. We have seven shops in our Branch area and all are run by our dedicated staff and volunteers. Our Shop Managers and Deputy Shop Managers sort through our donations, keep the stock room clean and stocked up, they manage the tills, finances, the shop floor layout, window displays, promote gift aid and carry out administrative tasks.

They also clean, open and close their shop and manage volunteers and their training. They spend time enforcing good health & safety and safeguarding procedures and have had to face extra challenges during this pandemic. When our shops were closed, we really noticed a difference to our Branch and it goes to show just how important our wonderful shops are.

By volunteering in one of our charity shops, you will be directly helping animals in need. Our Retail Team rely on volunteers to help them with the important work that they do and this is a very rewarding volunteer role.

So what kind of tasks do our shop volunteers do? We have many different roles that are vital in keeping the shop running and they suit all different skills and abilities.

Are you creative? Maybe you want to take care of the shop displays.

Love being around people? Using the till and serving customers may be for you!

Not really a people person? Why not sort out donations in the stock room?

You can always call us to see what role suits you best however in the meantime, take a look at some of our FAQs below.

We work around you! We appreciate you giving up your time to help animals in need and we are very thankful that you have the time to do so.  We do ask for a minimum for 3 hours per week, just so it is easier for our team to plan their rotas.

This really depends on you and how you feel. We have creative roles such as, managing the shop displays, serving customers on the till and sorting out donations in the stock room. Each shop is different, so you can discuss this with your role manager once you are on board!

You will learn skills in customer service, visual merchandising, money handling, how to manage a stockroom and good organisational skills. You will also learn about how an Animal Charity is run and you will meet new people! It will look great on your CV and we will provide you with a reference if you request one. You mush volunteer for a minimum of three months if you would like a reference from us though.

We all have to start somewhere! If you do not have any experience, that is not a problem at all as full training will be provided. In fact, it is a great way to gain some experience so you can apply for future jobs! You can discuss any concerns you have with the CVSO or with the Shop Manager. You will have full support with whatever task you wish to learn however there is no pressure for you to learn lots!

Let’s not forget our Education & Events department who provide bespoke education packages and talks to schools, social clubs and groups across Mid Norfolk & North Suffolk. Prevention through education is essential to setting up a cruelty free future for animals.

With Schools being closed and events cancelled, we have really missed out in this last year. We had such lovely events planned for you all however do not worry, we have saved them for when things are back to normal.

When we are back, we will also be needing Events Volunteers to help us set up or to assist with the running of the stand. This is a varied role on an as and when basis. Keep an eye on our website, our newsletter and our socials as there will be regular updates for you!

Emma MillsVolunteering- how can I help animals in need?