Give as you Live works with thousands of UK charities to help them raise funds using our services. However there is more to helping charities than just raising funds as I discovered last week.
Every employee gets to take three days a year to volunteer at a cause we care about. My local Blue Cross rehoming centre at Burford kindly let me come along for three days to help in their ‘Smalls’ department.
The centre opened in 1990 and has facilities for 25 dogs, 21 cats, 14 rabbits and other small pets. On arrival I was taken over to the ‘Smalls’ centre and introduced to Tania and Simon who showed me the ropes for a normal days work.
Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning!
The Blue Cross has fantastic standards for well-being and each animal they house must be cleaned every morning. So off we went forks, hay and straw in hand to muck out all of the lovely bunnies.
A freezing cold March morning, I bundled myself into a spare Blue Cross jacket and began the marathon clean. Each of the rabbits gets their generous enclosures cleaned and refreshed, followed by the Guinea’s. Then into the smallies room where we worked our way around the rats, degus and hamsters.
This process can take hours for staff and without the help of volunteers they would probably spend all their time cleaning! It was very hard work, especially in the cold!
The staff and volunteers passion for the welfare of the animals in their care really shines through in the commitment they all show. Whilst I was there one of the rabbits ‘Chewy’ was showing some signs of being poorly, her fur was coming out in clumps and immediately we made an appointment with the vets and whisked her off. Luckily she was just shedding ready for summer, although probably a bit early as it is still pretty cold!
About my volunteering experience
Although I was only at the centre for three days, I really felt I made a connection with the staff at Blue Cross and of course the animals! I am hoping to return as soon as possible and carry on helping them out with their fantastic work.
I can’t recommend volunteering highly enough, it’s a satisfaction you just don’t get anywhere else and the charities are always incredibly grateful for any help you can give them, even if it’s just a morning, get your wellies on and get out there!