Did you know that volunteering has been known to improve the volunteers’ wellbeing too?
It is human nature to feel good for volunteering, especially when you’re involved with something you are truly passionate about – such as animals and welfare.
We couldn’t possibly express our gratitude towards our very dedicated, generous team of volunteers in just a few words so instead we’d like to celebrate a few people who always go the extra mile.
Jill at Hayle
Long standing volunteer Jill Brown has been giving up her spare time to help our Cornwall centre since 2002.
Starting out as a dog walker, Jill now helps NAWT by selling stock at private shows and functions, going into the community to talk about the charity and is a volunteer home checker.
She said: “I was touched by an article in the newspaper that was a desperate plea for help, so I visited and asked what I could do.
Jill with NAWT Cornwall centre manager, Louise
“I started out taking some dogs out – I tend to stick to the older dogs now because I’ve gotten slower since then.
“Soon after I took up roles going out and about, attending things like local W.I events to talk about the charity.
“The staff at NAWT Hayle really couldn’t be better, volunteers are made to feel part of the team and everyone is pleased to see you.
“I tell people you can do as much as you can or want to with volunteering but it’s definitely worth it and so rewarding.”
John and Wendy at Langport
Barn sales and afternoon teas have been taking place at Heaven’s Gate Farm in Somerset since 2014. These have become more popular over the last few years and now happen once a month between March and October on a Saturday.
Donated items are sold, including giftware, books, toys, household items and plants that are grown on site, or donated by supporters. Not forgetting the delicious cakes and teas that have been made and donated by our fantastic supporters.
In 2017 over £3,000 was raised by barn sales, which could not have happened without the help of our barn sale volunteers and supporters.
John has been volunteering selling donated plants for three years and developing plant donor relationships.
Above: John helping out at Heavens Gate Farm, Langport
When asked what he gets out of volunteering he tells us: “I really enjoy the company of other people, other volunteers and visitors, who are pretty amazing at the barn sales.”
It takes around 13 volunteers to make it all happen over the weekend, helping out selling in the barn itself, serving tea and cake and selling plants as well as our pet shop that has donated pet items for sale.
Wendy has helped since 2016 she said: “I thoroughly enjoy volunteering at the barn sales, helping Heaven’s Gate raise funds and catching up with our regular customers.”
Of course there is all of the preparation, sorting donations, setting up everything and also taking down after the event, which is done by a small dedicated group of amazing volunteers.
The next barn sale will take place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of June 12-4pm.
David at Watford
David supports the NAWT Watford centre in a number of ways. Not only does he help us with vital fundraising days – he also shares his business skills with our staff to help improve their management.
He explains: “Earlier this year I led a few training workshops for the supervisors and team leaders at the Watford branch.
“I used my professional skills and experience as a leadership development coach to help the staff.
“Each workshop lasted a couple of hours to help the team build their confidence when dealing with day to day management challenges.
“I decided to help out at NAWT because we rehomed our much loved dog Cola from the Watford centre and because I know it's difficult for charities and small businesses to afford trainers to run this kind of thing, so I wanted to help out there too.”
Sue at HULA
Retired nurse Sue volunteers with the cats and smaller animals at our HULA branch in Bedfordshire.
She began volunteering after seeing how passionate the staff were about their work.
She said: "I and really look forward to spending time at HULA, helping and learning.
"I usually volunteer twice a week. As well as cleaning out and feeding, it's lovely to spend quality time with the animals whilst they are waiting for their forever homes.
Above: HULA volunteer Sue and Lex enjoying a cuddle
"If you’ve never volunteered before, give it a try, its such a rewarding experience knowing that you can make a difference!
"If an animal comes in frightened and uncertain you can see the difference that kindness and care can make, it's so worthwhile."
If you would like to volunteer for one of our centres, please view our current opportunties here and to everyone who helps NAWT be successful - thank you!