Catch up with… Hayley Chow

09 JUNE 2020

Each week, we’re introducing you to one of our amazing staff members and volunteers who will tell you more about their work and what a typical day is like for them here at Battersea.

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They’ll even share stories and photos of their favourite Battersea animals. This week, we caught up (remotely) with Hayley Chow, Communications Officer at our London Centre.

Tell us a bit about what you do at Battersea

I’m a Communications Officer in the PR & Media team at Battersea, based in our London centre. Like a lot of Battersea office staff I am currently working from home.

I’m part of a small team and our job is to raise Battersea’s public profile, working with journalists and other media outlets. This includes working locally to help promote the work of all three of our Battersea centres in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch, as well as nationally and internationally to raise the profile of our work as well as initiatives like the Battersea Academy.

As a PR & Media team we organise lots of interviews and deal with a lot of filming requests, as well as sourcing stories and case studies from all around Battersea. We also get to work on the award-winning ITV show, For the Love of Dogs, with Paul O’Grady.

It’s a cliché, but everyday is very different. One moment you can be at your desk writing up a media briefing or on the phone talking to a member of the public who has a heart-wrenching story about how their rescue pet has saved them, and the next you will be out in a paddock supervising some filming and picking up dog poo! It can involve a lot of running around from one end of site to the other, and it can get hectic at times, but there’s no doubt that it’s all worth it.

Who is your most memorable Battersea animal and why?

I’ll never forget Ronnie the Rottie who was our office dog for a while. Let’s just say he sometimes forgot his toilet-training, but he was so, so sweet. He finally found a lovely home in the Welsh countryside.

I also have to mention my own Battersea cat, Maggie. I rehomed her three years ago as an older cat and it was the best thing I ever did. She is fluffy and sassy and she’s definitely got her own mind! She’s my first ever pet and I can’t imagine ever living without one now.

Maggie long haired cat

What is your favourite thing about your work?

This is a tough one! I have a few, but for me personally, it’s the people. Can I say that working for an animal charity!? We’re all here because we believe in the same cause, knowing what we do is making a difference to animals’ lives and animal welfare for years to come.

I have to give a special shout out to my team too. We do a lot behind the scenes, some of which people might not even realise, and we all support each other in any way we can. We all share the same sense of humour, which also helps!

During lockdown you volunteered as a foster carer for the first time, what has that been like?

I’ve always wanted to foster but it wasn’t always convenient or possible. Now I live somewhere with a garden, I wanted to try and help where I could, so I applied to be an emergency foster carer during lockdown.

I fostered two little rascals for a few weeks, Bichon Frise crosses called Snowy and Holly. They were both very needy and wanted lots of attention. Holly was the more nervous of the two and seeing her slowly come out of her shell and show a bit more of her personality was really rewarding.

I’d always gone in with the mind set that even though it’s temporary, I would care for any foster animal like I would my own, and I loved it, even during the times they would bark in the middle of the night!

Having Snowy and Holly around meant there was always something else to focus on too. It was quite therapeutic, and some days they gave me a reason to leave the house, right when I needed it. There’s just something so powerful knowing these innocent little creatures are relying on you. They look at you as though you’re the only thing that matters (until they see a treat of course!) and it makes you want to step up and be the person they want you to be.

Snowy and Holly Bichone Frise

Top TV, Book or Film recommendation for lockdown?

I’ve been getting through a lot of these during lockdown! Top TV recommendation has to be Brooklyn Nine Nine. From a practical point of view, there’s lots of short episodes, so you can easily fit it in round a lunch break. I also love escaping into a good book, mostly crime thrillers, but I’m trying to expand my genres during lockdown, so I’ve ventured into the odd rom-com fiction!

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