Volunteer with us

We rely on the generosity of volunteers, fellow people like you, as we do not receive any government funding. We can give our dogs and cats the high standard of care that we are so proud of, due to the dedication of our wonderful team of volunteers. There are so many ways that you can lend a hand and get involved, some of which are detailed below. Volunteering is an excellent way of making new friends, getting active in your local community, and making sure you have a busy and fun social life! If you think you can help, the possibilities are endless.

Ways to Volunteer

Whatever your skills, and no matter how much or how little time you can spare, there will be a way for you to lend us a helping hand. As you can see, there are plenty of ways….

With animals

  • Providing stimulation and exercise for the animals
    • Walking the dogs in the woods or public areas
    • Cuddling the cats
    • Socialising the dogs and cats
  • Lock Up shifts for cats and dogs – providing the final feeds, walks and cuddles of the day for the animals (7pm until 9pm shift)
  • Providing short and long term foster care
  • Assisting our staff in the kennels & the cattery
  • Carrying out home checks
  • Capturing photos and videos of our animals for our website
  • Managing the animals available for adoption online


  • Arranging and supporting events
  • Attending collections and bag packing events
  • Organising and running community events
  • Giving talks to local groups about Holly Hedge
  • Support Holly Hedge Campaigns
  • Managing Charity collection boxes
  • Taking part in overseas challenges
  • Skydiving
  • Abseiling
  • Running marathons
  • Making a regular monthly donation
  • Nominating Holly Hedge to be your Company or Corporation Charity of the Year
  • Salary Giving
  • Collecting or making prizes for our Auctions, Raffles, and Tombola’s
  • Creating and running Just Giving Campaigns
  • Donating a percentage of your sales value when you sell items on eBay

In the Office

  • Welcoming customers and visitors
  • carrying out administration tasks in the office
  • handling enquiries
  • Data entry
  • Project management
  • Administrative work and filing

In the Laundry & Cleaning

  • Cleaning pens and kennels and public areas
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Washing bedding, towels, and toys

With Maintenance, Building Work & Gardening

  • Painting
  • Gardening
  • Grounds Keeping
  • General Maintenance and repair work
  • Plumbing


  • Collecting and delivering food/donations and occasionally animals

In our Charity Shop in Nailsea

  • Serving customers
  • Stock Processing and store room management
  • Upcycling
  • eBay Store Management
  • Retail Merchandising

With Online Management

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Website
  • Online Store
  • Paw Pal

The Legal bit

If you are over 16, you can volunteer to help us, and work with the cats, but you need to be over 18 to work with the dogs. Volunteers under the age of 16 may be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who must also be registered as a volunteer with us.

To volunteer either complete our online application form, pop into the Sanctuary and fill out a form in reception or email volunteering@hollyhedge.org.uk to register to attend one of our open evenings.

We will then either invite you to attend a health & safety induction course, and to have a tour of site & the walks we take (if you are applying to volunteer with animals), or we will invite you in for an informal chat about the volunteer role you may be interested in.

Please note, to cover our admin/staffing costs we will be requesting a minimum £10 donation for an induction (£5 for volunteers under the age of 16).

We need to see two forms of ID, both must show your current address and one must be a photographic form of ID (for example a recent utility bill and your driving license or a college card).

Please note for Cat Cuddling, to prevent over crowding in the cattery we are now asking people to book their sessions in advance on a 4 week basis between either 10am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4pm

It can take a little time for us to process our volunteer requests, so please bear with us. We really appreciate your support and can’t wait to get you started!

If you want to volunteer with your company please see our Get Involved section, and have a look at the various ways your company can support our vital work, from volunteer group days to fundraising events at your work place.

As a charity, we rely on your help and in return the varied roles we offer will look great on your CV. You can develop your existing skills, learn new ones, and feel good about yourself too – not to mention make great new friends with like-minded people!

Downloadable Documents:

Cat cuddling guidelines

Dog walking guideline