Catch up with… Jo Sheldon

26 MAY 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. They’ll even share stories and photos of their favourite Battersea animals.

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This week, we caught up (remotely) with Jo Sheldon from the Marketing Campaigns team at our London Centre.

Tell us a bit about what you do at Battersea

I’m a Marketing Campaigns Officer at Battersea which basically means that I work as a project manager within the marketing department to help deliver all sorts of different marketing campaigns.

I work with our different teams of specialists at Battersea where I am involved throughout the whole process of coming up with a creative idea, bringing it to life and getting it out there for the world to see. I then report back on how well it worked!

Running successful campaigns is so important for Battersea because it allows us to raise all-important funds that make sure we continue to care for our animals and find them amazing new homes. The campaigns also help us influence and make vital changes to animal welfare policy on a national level.

On a day to day basis you’ll find me zooming around from meeting to meeting, coordinating campaigns, liaising with different project teams, writing timing plans and pulling together planning and reporting documents. I’m usually based at the London site and my desk faces the Power Station – I get a great view of all the dogs walking to and from the paddocks where they get to play and exercise, which I really miss at the moment!

I’m currently working from home like lots of Battersea office staff. My life now includes lots of Zoom meetings, Slack chats and online brainstorming! Everyone has adapted so well and I feel lucky to be part of such a great team.

Who is your most memorable Battersea animal and why?

This is such a hard question! There are two dogs that have really stuck with me. A Staffy called Conny and a Cocker Spaniel called Dexter. Conny was one of the first office dogs we had on our floor when I joined Battersea. I hadn’t spent a lot of time with Staffies before and she was an angel – so tiny and delicate! She was a shining example of a Staffie and she loved cuddles, smiled all day long and loved to run and roll about in the paddocks. However, the dog that stole my heart was Dexter. He had such a gentle personality and just wanted to be close to you. He recovered from a skin condition and his coat became so soft and silky. It was wonderful to see his transformation and it was amazing to see him go home so healthy and happy!

Jo with Conny, Brindle Staffy

Jo with Dexter, Black Cocker Spaniel Staffy

What is your favourite thing about your work?

It has to be, being part of an organisation which changes the lives of both animals and people.

Being surrounded by dogs and cats on a daily basis is magical and I’ve learnt so much about their behaviour and care. There is so much to learn about dogs and cats and we’re so lucky to have such a brilliant Operations Team looking after our animals here at Battersea.

I’m also very lucky to have brilliant colleagues across all departments at Battersea, and the Marketing Team is amazingly supportive, effective and inspiring. I miss seeing my teammates every day, and they make going to work (even if at the moment that just means going downstairs!) rewarding, fulfilling and fun.

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

Fostering Ollie during lockdown has been a total joy. He took a few days to settle in, but before long he was tearing around the garden having the time of his life!

Ollie is an absolute sweetie. He’s a small but sturdy mixed-breed dog with very little legs! He has a huge personality and loves to give kisses and cuddles. He is happiest when he’s playing in the garden or running through the fields on walks. During the day, you’ll find him asleep on the sofa or barking at birds in the garden but after 10pm you couldn’t tempt him up for all the cheese in the world. He loves to show off his tricks – he can paw and high five! He’s a happy-go-lucky dog and everyone can’t help but smile as he wiggles past.

Caring for Ollie has been a very welcome distraction from lockdown life. He fills any gaps in time and brings so much joy. Ollie has really helped give me a sense of perspective and purpose during these weird times. Even on tough days, his wagging tail and happy face never fail to make me smile.

Having Ollie around also means I have to get out of the house every day which is such a blessing. It’s affirmed for me more than ever that rescue animals can be the best medicine for your head and the best exercise for your heart too. Ollie is reserved and has a lovely home to go to as soon as it’s safe to do so. His new owners are in for such a treat! My partner and I will be lucky enough to be able to look back on this time with a degree of such fondness, all because we got to share it with Ollie.

Ollie asleep on the back of the sofa

Ollie sticking out his tongue

Top TV, Book or Film recommendation for lockdown?

Since going into lockdown I have watched Friends every day. I know it’s not original, but it’s comforting and it makes me laugh! It really helps me to unwind at the end of the day and pretend life is normal, just for a bit.

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