Battersea recognises ‘incredible’ contribution of its volunteers during Student Volunteering Week

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has paid tribute this week to its student volunteers who contribute to giving dogs and cats the opportunity of a better life. 

Student Volunteering Week, now in its 16th year, runs from 20-26 February and involved over 100 institutions in 2016. 

Battersea’s Volunteering & Fostering department, which received £200,000 of funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery last year, is supported by a team of 1,086 volunteers, many of whom are students.

Regina Soares, a Cattery Support Volunteer at Battersea’s London centre who is studying Animal Care Management at Nescot College, decided to volunteer at the Home as she looks for a change of career. 

“I was at my job for 14 years and I became tired of being in an office so I wanted to do something different,” said Regina.

“I have always been around animals – when I was growing up we lived in the Amazonian part of Brazil and we had a monkey and a parrot as well as two dogs! 

“When I adopted a Battersea cat called Hannah almost three years ago, it reminded me of my childhood and I decided to wanted to work with animals.

“This is my first experience of an animal charity and I am enjoying what I’m doing. Everybody has been so welcoming and nice, and I have learnt a lot of new things about cats.”
Cattery Support Volunteers plays a key role in supporting staff with husbandry and welfare duties, such as cleaning pens, preparing meals and vital enrichment and socialisation sessions to reduce the animals’ stress.

Regina’s course mate Danielle Corr, also a Cattery Support Volunteer in London, said: “I started studying my course because eventually I wanted to get into vet nursing, but after volunteering here my dream is to run my own animal adoption centre. 

“Being at Battersea has really helped me understand how a successful animal shelter works and being associated with the Home is great because everyone knows it. 

“My favourite thing about volunteering here is the people I work with. I have learnt a lot here and it’s on par with what I have learnt on my course – it’s an invaluable experience.”

Charlotte Fielder, Director of Volunteering & Fostering at Battersea, said: “We’re so grateful for the incredible contribution our volunteers make to Battersea because without them we wouldn’t be able to help as many animals find a home.  

“It’s fantastic that we have volunteers here who find the time to help us out whilst studying, and for some this gives them valuable experience which they use later on in their careers.

“We’re always on the lookout for volunteers."

If you are interested in getting involved, please visit https://www.battersea.org.uk/support-us/volunteer.

The Home cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres – London, Brands Hatch and Old Windsor – at any one time, and rehomes to all corners of the UK from Plymouth to Glasgow.

-ENDS-

For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9332 or email press@battersea.org.uk.

Notes to editors
•    Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help.  We reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners through our Lost Dogs & Cats Line or care for them until new homes can be found for them, giving them shelter and the highest standards of kennelling and veterinary care. 
•    Since it was founded, Battersea has rescued, reunited and rehomed over 3.1 million dogs and cats.
•    For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit www.battersea.org.uk. 
•    Follow Battersea on Twitter @BDCH or facebook.com/Battersea  

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