I’ve had a Battersea Dogs & Cats Home themed week. As well as my usual volunteering role socialising (aka cuddling) cats, I’ve been involved in two special events.
Last Sunday saw me volunteering at the Annual Reunion, a fun day for former Battersea dogs and their owners with stalls, agility and obedience games, and contests galore (waggiest tail, anyone?).
My role was setting up the raffle stall and selling tickets. Skills required included bunting hanging and numeracy, the latter not being one of my greatest strengths if I’m honest, so a good opportunity to practise.
However I jumped at the chance to stand in for a volunteer on one of the agility games and ended up staying most of the afternoon it was so much fun.
Some of the dogs positively flew over the jumps, while the tiny ones could barely clamber over them – when they could be bothered! Then there were the “outtakes” – the dogs that went in the wrong direction or round the outside of the course, with the seconds ticking away on the stopwatch. It was brilliant and hilarious.
I certainly had a lot of fun at the Annual Reunion and I could tell the ex-Battersea dogs and their owners did too.
[See more at https://www.battersea.org.uk or on Battersea’s Facebook page (search @Battersea) or on Twitter]
Later in the week I went on a visit with other Battersea volunteers to the Old Windsor site. We were welcomed with coffee and pastries and generally treated like royalty (royalty, Windsor…).
We had a tour of the site, a dog training demonstration by an animal behaviour specialist and were taken for a walk along the river at Runnymede by some of the dogs.
We all came away with an even greater sense of belonging and commitment to the organisation, and feeling appreciated because of the special experience Battersea had given us.
On top of this I had an email saying “a huge thank you for all of your help at the Annual Reunion… we really appreciate you giving up your time to come along. We couldn’t do the event without our amazing volunteers!”
That’s the great thing about volunteering – everyone wins!
You get to do something you’re passionate about. And you not only get the intrinsic reward of doing some good, but maybe even have fun at the same time. The recipients of your efforts benefit. You help the organisation you volunteer for to fulfil its role cost-effectively. And everyone appreciates you!
I’ve written in more detail about the benefits of volunteering [here] and passion and involvement [here]. It bears repetition that these are things that make you feel more positive about yourself and about life in general, increasing your happiness levels and your wellbeing.
Images from Battersea’s Facebook page.
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