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What is it like being a NAWT volunteer?


Carol Nelson

Carol has been part of the NAWT Somerset Rescue Agility Display team for just over a year.

“Angus, Zizi and I have very much enjoyed the year we have been part of the Heaven’s Gate agility display team attending local shows to demonstrate what rescue dogs can do; we have met some very nice people, both volunteers and members of the public.” Carol says one of her most memorable moments is “experiencing the response from the public to the displays, which will hopefully encourage them to consider adopting a dog.”








Charlotte McDonagh

Charlotte volunteers at NAWT Hertfordshire, and has been there since early 2017. Charlotte decided to start volunteering as she was looking for a change in her career path, and having a love for animals, decided that volunteering at NAWT was a great place to gain some experience in the industry. Charlotte says one of her favourite bits about volunteering is seeing some of the dogs really happy and content after being walked, cuddled and played with. Charlotte says to know that she has made a dog, who may not have a great past, happy, really makes her day!

Recalling one of her most memorable moments, Charlotte says “I would have to say my most memorable moment so far at NAWT was when I went and sat in with three puppies. Although they were definitely a handful, it was the biggest highlight for me and probably one of the perks of the job for the staff!”

“The staff take such fantastic care of the animals and always make volunteers feel welcome too. The training the cats and dogs receive (Open Paw) is just second-to-none and really makes all the difference when trying to rehome the animals.

One thing I really love about the team at NAWT Hertfordshire is that they will undergo a strict vetting process before an animal is rehomed. For them, it is just as much about finding the right family as it is finding the right pet.”


Laura Rosenthal

Laura has been volunteering at NAWT Hertfordshire since 2016, and helps with dog walking and fundraising events. Laura adores dogs, and after a career change, she decided to start volunteering at her local centre.

Laura says “I can’t describe how much satisfaction and pleasure I get from volunteering at the NAWT. Be it because I just love being around the dogs, and knowing they recognise me and welcome me when I turn up (with an abundance of chicken roll in my pockets, which may have something to do with it) or the lovely staff and other volunteers that I come across whilst I am there. The staff there always make me feel appreciated for taking out the dogs, and if there is a particularly difficult dog there that I feel I want to work with they will take the time to get me to a level that I can do this.”

“I really don’t think there is a better way to spend time than getting your “doggie fix” AND being appreciated by humans and dogs for doing it? The more time you spend volunteering at the NAWT, the more you want to keep going as each time you get to interact with more gorgeous dogs that you want to give attention to… So consider yourself warned as it is an addictive “feel good” slippery slope you are about to enter if you start volunteering at the NAWT. You are in serious danger of making new friends (furry and human) and wanting to spend all your available time there… If you are in any doubt at all about doing it, just give it a go and see how you feel after a few licks and tummy tickles. Even if you don’t walk the dogs you can still benefit them by giving cuddles, treats and attention and they are eagerly waiting for you…”


Sophia Marie Di Giovanna

Sophie volunteers at NAWT Hertfordshire and helps with a range of activities from the centre, including preparing the dog's meals, cleaning out bunnies/guinea pigs and sitting in and cuddling kittens and cats.

“I have only been volunteering at Hertfordshire's National Animal Welfare Trust for a short period of time but I definitely feel at home within the shelter. All the staff members are super friendly, welcoming and are figures of inspiration for me. Just like the staff, the volunteers are equally as friendly; everyone shares the same passion for animals. There is never a day where I dread going in to volunteer and I always look forward to what tasks lay ahead. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've had the opportunity to help out with so far. I decided to volunteer at NAWT when I attended one of the shelters open days with my cockapoo Ziggy, I went on a walk around the shelter and was heartbroken to see so many lovely animals who needed rehoming. It’s a decision which has changed my life and one that I will never regret making.”


Corporate Volunteering 

Hewlett Packard CDS 

A team from Hewlett Packard CDS kindly spent a day volunteering at our Berkshire Centre recently. The team helped in a number of ways, including replacing old brush heads. These are screwed onto the fences so that the goats can have a good scratch!

The team from Hewlett Packard CDS watching Leo the goat enjoy his newly installed brush head!

Whilst one half of the team worked on the brush heads for the goats, the other half were levelling off the shelters for the horses. This was an important task due to the age of the horses in our care and their need for a flat comfy surface to lay on.

After lunch, the team then went on to do some gardening, improving the look of the main courtyard and making it a much more welcoming environment for visitors and potential rehomers.

A representative from Hewlett Packard CDS said:

“We all thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was of course very different to our normal job roles which mainly involve using a computer for most of the day. We like to do at least 2 volunteering days a year at charities like NAWT. This is so that we can both help the local community and also have a team bonding experience. Charity days are very useful for this as we all have the same goal and want to meet it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We would finally like to say a big thank you to Beth and NAWT for having us and we hope we made a difference.”