What's it like to be a communications volunteer at the RSPCA?
A Q&A with Lauren Bayross-Payne, our dedicated communications volunteer.
Q. How long have you been a volunteer for us?
A. I've been a communications volunteer for the RSPCA for eight months now. My first interaction with the RSPCA was in 2018 when I rescued my dog, Frankie.
I was amazed to learn about all of the incredible work that the RSPCA do. Since then, I've been an avid supporter and have kept up to date with the charity's developments by checking in on the RSPCA website for all of the latest updates. When I saw a volunteering vacancy for a communications volunteer on the jobs page, I was really excited to sign up!
Q. What's your favourite part about being a volunteer?
A. Volunteering means that I get to use my digital skills to make a difference to animal welfare - a cause that I'm really passionate about. Plus, I get to look at a lot of pictures of cute animals; it's impossible not to feel happy after a day of volunteering!
Q. Is being a volunteer for us what you expected?
A. I love volunteering just as much as I thought I would. What I enjoy the most is knowing that I'm learning new skills whilst contributing to a cause that I'm truly passionate about. There are few better feelings.
Q. What does an average day as a volunteer look like?
A. I mainly assist the team in communicating with volunteers through the online volunteering platform. I've also had opportunities to write news stories to keep volunteers up to date with the charity's stories. I've learnt a lot about how the charity operates and there's so much amazing work that the RSPCA do that I was never aware of until I got involved.
I'm currently volunteering remotely as I'm not able to visit the office due to Covid-19. It's been an unusual experience as I've only been able to meet the team virtually but we've made it work! On my volunteer days, I join the morning video call to catch up with everyone and we then plan out the tasks that I'll be working on for the day. The work I do really varies, from writing news stories for the other volunteers to proofreading job ads, but I love the variety!
Q. Tell us about your favourite volunteer moments so far?
A. I've really loved being a part of the RSPCA team and learning more about the charity. I think my favourite part so far has been working on 'Pet Paws-itivity', which is a weekly internal news story featuring volunteers' pets. I love sharing people's pet profiles each week and it makes me happy to know it might brighten someone else's day too.
Q. If someone was interested in becoming a volunteer, what would your advice be?
A. I love being involved with the RSPCA as a volunteer because I truly want to help make a difference for animals. Rescuing our dog, Frankie, made me realise that animal cruelty is very real and the work that the RSPCA do is extremely vital. It gives me great satisfaction to know that my time is helping such an important cause.
If someone was interested in becoming a volunteer, I would say go for it! There are so many different volunteer roles and there'll definitely be one that's perfect for you.