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….

  • 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 – providing the final feeds, walks and cuddles of the day for the animals (7pm until 9pm shift) (We are currently full for cat Lockup training, but you can register and there will be a wait for training.)
  • Lock Up shifts for dogs – (We currently have sufficient volunteers for dog lockup but please keep checking to see when we have available places.)
  • 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

CAT CUDDLING
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.

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.

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.

DOG WALKING
We are sorry but due to the ground conditions in the woods we have had to suspend the Volunteer Dog Walking Applications/Inductions until the spring.

  • 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
  • Welcoming customers and visitors
  • carrying out administration tasks in the office
  • handling enquiries
  • Data entry
  • Project management
  • Administrative work and filing
  • Cleaning pens and kennels and public areas
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Washing bedding, towels, and toys
  • Painting
  • Gardening
  • Grounds Keeping
  • General Maintenance and repair work
  • Plumbing
  • Collecting and delivering food/donations and occasionally animals
  • Serving customers
  • Stock Processing and store room management
  • Upcycling
  • eBay Store Management
  • Retail Merchandising
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Website
  • Online Store
  • Paw Pal

If you want to volunteer with your company please see the Corporate Volunteer Day with Holly Hedge 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.

Although we do everything we can to make things as easy as possible for the cats and dogs in our care, some of them find it very difficult to cope in our noisy and stressful kennel environment. We also endeavour to place puppies and kittens and elderly animals in caring foster homes, to ensure that they receive the specialist attention, care and love they so desperately need. This is where our Volunteer Animal Fosterers come in. They provide a loving and calm environment for these cats and dogs as we try to find them their future home.

As we are rapidly approaching kitten season, this is the time of year that sees our animal numbers increase tenfold as pregnant mums, and cats with kittens are brought to us or dumped at the Sanctuary. A mother and kitten animal fosterer would look after the young family in a home environment so that they are socialised at an early stage of their development. The fostering period can vary from a few weeks to a few months. You would need to be at home for most of the day, and have a secure room to keep mum and her kittens safe. You will also need to have transport to get to the Sanctuary/Vets for vet checks as required.

We also look for volunteer foster families to help with other cats and dogs, whether they are young or in their twilight years, or because they may be ill. We also seek special foster families for dogs and cats that are finding kennel life especially difficult. Please let us know if you are interested in offering a space in your home to one of our needy animals.

If you would like more information about becoming an animal fosterer please email info@hollyhedge.org.uk.

Specific Volunteer Roles

Specific volunteer roles that we are currently seeking to fill are:

Supermarket collections are really important to us. Not only are they a very significant source of donations but they also keep the Sanctuary in the public eye. We are looking for a few motivated Volunteer Collections Coordinators to book in collections at their local supermarkets and organise volunteers to represent Holly Hedge with a smile. Collection slots are typically between 10am-12pm, 12pm -2pm and 2pm-4pm, and we currently average around 2 collections a month.

If you’re interested in helping us with this vital role please email us fundraising@hollyhedge.org.uk.

We are always looking for friendly, happy people to support Holly Hedge by joining our wonderful team of Supermarket Collections Volunteers!

If you would like to join our team please send an email to fundraising@hollyhedge.org.uk.

If you are a sociable person who wants to help us raise our profile and collect much needed funds this is the perfect volunteer role for you!

The role entails:

  • Identifying and placing collection boxes in suitable locations
  • Talking to the shop owner, receptionist etc. at the location about how the boxes will help our Sanctuary and what we do
  • Emptying boxes every three to six months (as they get full) and banking the income through the paying in book provided. Give a receipt and letter of thanks to the hosts
  • Keeping a written record of the location of all boxes for your supervisor, the dates they are emptied and the dates/amounts banked
  • If boxes aren’t collecting much, you’ll decide to move them to a better location. Your supervisor may also ask you to remove boxes
  • Reporting any stolen boxes to the Police
  • Spotting the potential for further fundraising amongst the box holders for Community Fundraisers

The time commitment for this role is flexible and would include spotting opportunities to place boxes during your daily activities.

Please email fundraising@hollyhedge.org.uk if you would like to help.

This role is to assist our kennel staff with the morning cleaning, feeding, walking and socialisation for a whole day 8.30am – 4pm. This will be for a minimum of one set day per week for a minimum of 6 months due to the level of training required. We have positions for both cats and dogs, but applicants should be aware of  the physical nature of the role and have the confidence to work unsupervised.

If you wish to be considered for this volunteer position please complete the online Volunteer Application Form entering “Volunteer Animal Care Assistants” in the “Other Role” field and let us know why you would be suited for the role.

We are looking for hard working enthusiastic volunteers who would like to join our friendly retail team at our Weston or Nailsea charity shops.

As part of the team, the role will include a variety of tasks from sorting donations, pricing items and operating the till.

No retail experience is necessary however volunteers must have excellent customer service skills, be willing to talk about the charity and the work we do and must be confident to use a till and handle change. Training will be given, however the role can be unsupervised at times so confidence to work alone is also essential.

This a great opportunity to gain references and retail experience and can lead to employment in the future. Hours are flexible, days range from 10am-4pm Mon-Sat and we ask that volunteers can commit to a minimum of 4 hours on one set day per week, up to full time)

Due to the nature of the role, references will be required. Please email sarahschranz@hollyhedge.org.uk outlining all of the reasons you wish to volunteer and any relevant experience you may have and availability.

As the weekends can be our busiest time with visiting public we would love a volunteer to help our staff liaise with volunteer dog walkers, helping to choose dogs to walk, confidently harness and then collect from reception. Applicants will need to be confident with dogs and able to harness using our positive training methods. As above this will be a committed role for either a Saturday or Sunday for a minimum of 6 months.

If you wish to be considered for this volunteer position please complete the online Volunteer Application Form entering “Volunteer Weekend Coordinator” in the “Other Role” field.

Our phone lines and reception area can be a really busy place. To help us achieve a faster rehoming process, to help assist the public with inquiries to the sanctuary and to assist in fundraising, we are looking for confident charismatic people who would like to volunteer for a minimum of one set day per week in our reception. This is an exciting and varied role which would suit someone with previous office experience, however full training will be given. The ability to use a computer and simple database will be essential.

If you wish to be considered for this volunteer position please complete the online Volunteer Application Form entering “Volunteer Reception Assistants” in the “Other Role” field.

Are you an energetic, confident and organised individual who is looking for a foot in the door to the world of events and fundraising within the charity sector?

We are looking for a vibrant individual to support our current fundraiser and add value to our community fundraising programme.

This role will increase the fundraising stream by maximizing support for current mechanisms to actively developing new activity. As well as securing funding, it will also raise our profile in Bristol and the surrounding area, promoting our services to more people, and developing the opportunities that come from this increase in profile.

You will be comfortable communicating with people from a range of backgrounds and in a range of settings, from volunteers at a local fundraising event to members of the public. You will thrive on making connections with others, and you will also have the understanding and appreciation required to communicate the nature of Holly Hedge’s work.

Duties will include assisting at events, working on fundraising campaigns, writing fundraising material, nurturing relationships with fundraisers, building new relationships within the local community, placing collection tins and helping with other general administration.

If you would like more information on this exciting role please email fundraising@hollyhedge.org.uk.

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).

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!

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