International animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary is marking the start of Volunteers’ Week with a celebration for its hard-working volunteers on Friday 1st June 2012.
Around 90 of the charity’s Quality Time Volunteers and Volunteer Walk Guides are expected to gather for a cream tea, afternoon walk and catch up at the headquarters of The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth in Devon on the first afternoon of Volunteers Week 2012, which runs from 1-7 June. Volunteers’ Week celebrates the contribution of millions of volunteers across the UK, and aims inspire others to get involved.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s Quality Time Volunteers (QTVs) spend quality time with the resident donkeys on the charity’s farms in Devon, Dorset and Derbyshire, giving them care and attention to complement that which is given to them by staff to keep them in good health. The charity’s team of Volunteer Walk Guides show visitors around the Sanctuary during the summer months, giving an insight into the work of The Donkey Sanctuary and the backgrounds of the resident donkeys. The charity’s QTV scheme has been running since 2008, and this will be the third year that Volunteer Walk Guides have been in operation.
Debbie Osborne began volunteering for The Donkey Sanctuary in 2011:
“I have been a QTV now for a year and I come up to Sidmouth from my home in South Devon every other week to volunteer, spending a couple of hours each time grooming or just giving a bit of love and attention to any of the donkeys which need an extra bit of TLC.
“I wanted to be a volunteer at The Donkey Sanctuary because I really admire the organisation's work. To see the UK donkeys being so well looked after is such a privilege, but I know that any amount of support to the Sanctuary also, indirectly, helps with their work overseas where some donkeys still have a particularly hard life.
“Volunteering with The Donkey Sanctuary means I get to share my time, hands on, with these lovely animals and it’s extremely rewarding, especially when a new donkey who has been shy finally decides they want be given cuddles!”
The Donkey Sanctuary’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, Kay Faulkner, says:
“We are so grateful to our team of volunteers for giving up their time to do everything from donkey grooming and leading guided walks, to helping out behind the scenes with the day-to-day running of the charity. They are fantastic, and the celebration we are holding for them during Volunteer’s Week is our way of recognising their efforts and saying thank you for all their hard work.
“We are always looking for enthusiastic, flexible people to add to our team of QTVs. Volunteers can give as much or as little time as they like, whether this is a few hours a week or a few hours a month. Full training will be given, so don’t worry if you are new to the world of donkeys, we would still love to hear from you.”
To find out more about volunteering opportunities at The Donkey Sanctuary, please visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/volunteer.
For an interview, further information or images, please contact The Donkey Sanctuary press office on 01395 573097/573014, mobile 07970 927778 or via email.
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