Through my love of animals which started when I was little as well as how animals have helped me with my mental health. I decided I wanted to do volunteering with animals.
I now volunteer once a week at a farm as an Animal Care Volunteer. The farm I go to has lots of different types of animals. From Alpacas, Goats and Llamas to Guinea pigs, Hamsters, Rats and Rabbits to name a few. We also sometimes get to look after reptiles such as snakes, geckos and skinks.
The farm works with children, young people and adults to build up their confidence and self-esteem through working to care for a variety of animals. Children and young people who come here maybe home educated, have mental health conditions or found mainstream school hard to name a few.
When I was looking at different places I could volunteer at this place taught my eye as they had worked with other young people with mental health conditions. I thought this place would be fantastic as we get to work with animals in a more therapeutic environment. I felt that I could help give back to other young people and show them how much joy animals can bring into your life and help you to be more positive. Animals don’t just help them to forget about difficult things but sometimes helps them to process things as the animals are making them feel relaxed and safe.
Throughout the day on the farm I do a number of different tasks to care for all the animals on the farm. Here are some of the tasks I do.
Cleaning out hutches,cages and fields. I put down fresh hay in all the animals hutches, cages and shelters. Giving all the animals fresh water in their water bottles and bowls and topping them up regularly throughout the day.
Sometimes I groom the goats, ponies and the dog. We also take the goats and ponies out of their main field and take them for walks around the farm so that they have new things to explore and they love it !, The goats love to try and eat the leaves too.
I help to prepare all the animals food as well as giving it to them when it is feeding time.
Dinner time for the rabbits.
Finally a big thing we try to do is do as much animal handling as possible this is not just because the animals need to have human interaction but sometimes children and young people come to the farm to do animal handling sessions here the children and young people learn all about the animals.
I absolutely love volunteering on the farm and would highly recommend volunteering not only is it good to put on your CV but you get to learn new things about yourself. You get to see if you prefer learning through doing or more sitting down and writing.
If you are aged between 14-25 you can log your hours of volunteering you do on the website : http://www.vinspired.com , by doing this you will get certificates for the number of hours you do . You can show these certificates in any interviews you may have from college course interviews to internships, work experience placements and jobs.