Volunteering for an animal welfare organisation can be a very rewarding experience. Sam, who volunteers for the Conservation Team at Paradise Wildlife Park, tells #TeamHerts Volunteering why she loves helping out there.
Where are you a volunteer for and for how long have you been doing it?
I am a volunteer for the Conservation Team within Paradise Wildlife Park (PWP) and I have been volunteering for over 2 years.
How did you get in to volunteering and what do you do?
I got into volunteering by attending an experience at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, the sister park to Paradise Wildlife Park. I got chatting to a member of staff, and I made a comment about working there. She replied with: “Well, you can always volunteer!”
I said to her that I unfortunately lived too far away, but then she mentioned Paradise Wildlife Park, which I have been going to for over 30 years. I was unaware that volunteering was an option at the time. As soon as I got home, I emailed the volunteer section and the rest is history.
I am part of the wonderful Conservation Team at PWP. As a team, we run a small shop within the park and hold many events throughout the year, all raising money for Worldwide Conservation projects, as well as for the park.
What do you enjoy about your volunteering role, and how does it benefit you?
I don’t just enjoy it; I love being part of PWP. I love meeting new people, I love the animals, the keepers, the public and knowing that all the money we raise goes to so many important projects. Everyone at the Park is so lovely, it’s like one big family. It’s my happy place!
Being at the Park benefits me a lot. I have a few medical issues and by volunteering it really helps me to get out. It helps me to be me! I’ve made so many friends. The fresh air keeps my mind working too.
What difference are you making by being a volunteer?
I think I make a difference by engaging with people who may or may not know about us as a team, what we do and how they can also help make a difference just by making a purchase, attending one of our events or just as importantly, joining us on the Conservation Team.
If someone was interested in finding out more about the organisation(s) you volunteer for, and how could they get in touch?
You should contact Barbara and Jenna on email@example.com. There are various sections to volunteer on at PWP, including the Conservation Cabin, Dino Team, Seasonal Park Services and the new Eco-Ranger role.