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 11am – 1pm and 1pm – 3pm.

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

Applications for Dog Walking and Cat Cuddling Volunteers

We are pleased to announce that we will be re-opening applications to volunteer with the animals at the sanctuary. However some restrictions will still apply due to the high numbers of volunteers currently attending.

We are currently only looking for weekday volunteers, ideally for Mondays or Fridays from 11am – 1pm and 1pm – 3pm, who can commit to volunteering at least twice a month and for a minimum term of 6 months due to the training and time involved. Inductions are held on a Friday at 3pm. Please note there is still a waiting list for inductions.

Alternatively, if you are able to dedicate your time on a weekly basis and would like to be more heavily involved with the daily care of our feline residents, then we are also looking for help with cleaning and feeding the cats, working alongside the team to provide necessary enrichment. This position would need you to commit to a half/whole day on a set day per week on a regular basis. Applicants would need to be over 16+ and able to work unsupervised. Some experience with cats would be an advantage. For this role please email our Cattery Manager directly at lucinda@hollyhedge.org.uk for more information.

We are currently only looking for volunteers who can attend on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 11am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 3pm who can commit to volunteering at least twice a month and for a minimum term of 6 months due to the training and time involved.

Please be advised that we walk dogs in the wood that is adjacent to the kennels and that the path in the wood is muddy throughout the year and some dogs will pull on the lead. Therefore a reasonable degree of fitness and agility is required by our dog walkers.

If you can commit to either role as required then please complete the Volunteer Application Form to apply to join our amazing team. Many thanks.