Last week I attended Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s first ever conference for its volunteers. It was the most amazing day on every level. I had decided to get involved so I volunteered to help out at the conference and filled goody bags a few days before.
Wearing my Battersea blue “I’m here to help” sash, I welcomed participants and handed out goody bags. It was heartwarming to see everyone so enthusiastic and happy to be involved in something they were passionate about!
I was inspired by Karl Wilding’s talk about volunteering (and encouraged that what he said echoed my recent post about the benefits of volunteering and acts of kindness (https://beyondcareerwoman.com/altruism-volunteer-or-just-be-kind/). Karl is Director of Public Policy & Volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). I will be incorporating references to some of the useful information he gave in the resources category of my blog in due course.
Whilst I’m a cat socialiser at Battersea, I’m also learning to groom dogs. So I signed up for a talk by Sarah Fisher on using a therapeutic method called Tellington TTouch with dogs to explore whether I could use any of the techniques on stressed dogs in the grooming salon. I was delighted to discover there are techniques I can incorporate, so I will be trying these out on my canine clients! If you’re interested in finding out more about how TTouch can be used to help animals with behaviour or wellbeing issues, feel free to contact me for pointers (information, that is, not dogs…).
I learnt a lot about Battersea’s fundraising and animal welfare campaigns too. All the volunteers – amongst many others – are passionately opposed to animal cruelty, and the latest campaign (NotFunny) is focused on bringing about an increase in the maximum sentence for acts of cruelty from the current 6 months to 5 years. If you want to find out more about this campaign and how to support it, go to: https://notfunny.battersea.org.uk. Be warned – some of the images are distressing.
Battersea volunteers are a diverse group of people of all ages and from all walks of life. What we share is a common passion to help animals and oppose cruelty. I’m sure I’m not the only Battersea volunteer who feels this work, and my involvement in something much bigger than my own concerns, gives my life greater meaning and purpose, and quite simply makes me happier.
If there’s a cause you feel passionate about, find out what opportunities there are to get involved and do it. You won’t regret it! And if you already volunteer, please share your views and experiences.
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