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An Interview with an RSPCA Volunteer

Jan 17, 2016

Emily has been a dedicated animal care volunteer at the centre for a fair few years now! She comes in two mornings a week to help the staff clean and feed the animals and spends most of her time with the cats, rabbits and small animals. Emily is a huge help for us as she knows our routine and isn't afraid to get stuck in! She also enjoys socialising the cats and gets them out for some exercise. We appreciate all her hard work and wanted to get her point of view on what it's like being a volunteer at RSPCA Derby.


Emily at the centre, playing with Clarissa and Jennifer

How did you get into volunteering?

"My first contact with Derby RSPCA was as a work experience student when I was studying for my Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Broomfield Hall. We had to complete a certain number of hours of work experience so I spent some of mine working at the centre. I really enjoyed it and decided to carry on volunteering with my friend and I've been here ever since! I used to do a full day but realised it was more useful for me to do two mornings a week so I can help with the cleaning."

Why did you want to volunteer?

"In my time as a work experience student I had a lot of fun and got to know the staff and other volunteers. I decided to continue as a volunteer because I wanted to gain new skills in animal care, which were useful for the rest of my studies as I got to see how animal care is applied in a literal sense rather than just on paper. I also wanted to meet new people, and I've made some great friends here."

Nervous cat 2.jpg

Emily enjoys socialising the cats

What do you enjoy about the role?

"Of course I really like being with the animals - that's what got me here in the first place! I particularly love spending time with the cats and kittens, as I get to play with them and help to bring them out of their shells when they first arrive at the cattery. As well as this, I like meeting new people and making friends. Everybody here loves animals, so I've met loads of people with the same interests as me, which is brilliant."

Tell us about a memorable moment during your volunteering

"I've done a bit of fundraising, which was fun but my main focus is always on the animal care so I've seen many animals come and go at the centre. One particularly memorable event was when a huge group of cats (over 20 of them) arrived from an Inspector around Christmas one year. They were everywhere! I remember we couldn't think of a theme to name so many cats so they ended up being named after the staff and volunteers! That was tough getting so many cats in at once and it always sticks in my memory."

What would you tell other people who are looking into volunteering?

"I'd say give it a chance! Since I enjoyed my time at the RSPCA I decided to look into other areas of volunteering, and now I also give my time at two other charities. Look into something that you enjoy or are passionate about, and put some effort in - it's actually fun! And don't be afraid to ask questions, because you can learn some interesting things from the people you're working with and they would always rather speak to you and help you than leave you feeling confused. It's much better to ask than make mistakes that can be avoided!"

Thank you Emily!

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