We're seeing a surge of volunteer sign-ups during coronavirus lockdown

We're seeing a surge of volunteer sign-ups during coronavirus lockdown

During National Volunteers Week, we're thanking our thousands of helpers and everything they do for animals...

We're especially thankful for the hundreds of animal lovers for signing up as volunteers during the coronavirus crisis lockdown. 

We've released new figures to celebrate National Volunteers' Week (June 1-7) which show a 12% increase in volunteers since lockdown and an astounding 8,000% increase in views of our webpage on `how to become an animal foster carer.'

Head of volunteering, John Wilkins, said:

Amongst the awfulness of coronavirus, this is a much-needed ray of hope. It's incredibly uplifting to feel animal lovers rallying around us in our time of need like this.

 Some of our new volunteers are animal lovers at home more because of lockdown and some are people who are on furlough who want to put their skills to good use while they are unable to work. 

It's heartening to see that a majority of our volunteers are young people, a sign that we are building a kinder and more compassionate future.

We are so incredibly grateful to all our volunteers both new and existing - our campaigners, our dog walkers, our foster carers - we simply could not do it without them and we'd like to say a massive thank you.

Volunteering for the RSPCA during lockdown: a snapshot

  • Volunteer numbers have risen from 3,582 to 4,025 during lockdown - a 12% increase
  • A majority of new volunteers are 'micro volunteers.'
  • Hertfordshire boasts the most RSPCA national volunteers with nearly 400.
  • Most of our volunteers - a third - are 18 to 25-year-olds.
  • There were 20,700 visits to our fostering page - an 8,000% increase compared to last year.
  • There were more than 40,000 visits to our volunteering page - an 85% increase.

Animal rescuers and volunteers have been designated key workers by the Government and during this difficult time we've launched out emergency appeal for vital funding which is needed to help our dedicated frontline staff continue their crucial work across England and Wales, helping animals in need.

We currently have 4,025 national society volunteers and thousands more branch volunteers -  who also continue to give up their time for free, to help animals in need.

We're looking for volunteers like you

You can help us to help as many animals as we can by becoming a volunteer. We're currently in need of:

  • Pet fosterers.
  • Volunteer drivers.
  • Micro volunteers (helping us digitally raise awareness of our work and our campaigns. As well as by undertaking online activities such as submitting photos for advertising campaigns and with online research).
  • Branch events managers.
  • Branch trustees.

Rebecca Wright, volunteers as a cat socialiser at our Middlesbrough centre. She said:

I love being with the cats. As a cat socialiser, I give the cats the type of company they need. That doesn't always mean fuss. It may be just sitting very quietly in their pen as they gain confidence. One of the most wonderful things I've seen is the change in a cat that arrives frightened and turns into a cat who has the confidence to display their own character. To see such a positive change in a cat's well-being and happiness is absolutely wonderful.

Terry Densham, who volunteers with his wife Rosemary,  helps with fundraising and walking dogs at our Felledge Animal Centre in County Durham. They said:

When you first see the dogs cower at the back of their kennel, scared of you, but with a few weeks of saying hello and a few treats later, the dog is so excited to see and go for a walk, or sit in the kennel, giving them a little love and attention if they're on kennel rest, just gives you a warm feeling that I may have made the dog's day a little better. It makes you feel that the few hours of my spare time has been worthwhile.

Paula Pearson who volunteers at our South Godstone Animal Centre in Surrey, said:

I have volunteered in the kennels section and helped out at most of the events held by the centre. Volunteering has been a fantastic experience. I have gained a greater knowledge of dogs so much so that I took redundancy from my full-time job in 2015 and set up my own dog walking business which I have now successfully run for over five years.

Angela Pears who answers emergency calls for us has also volunteered as a wildlife casualty volunteer - driving injured birds to get veterinary help and also a school speaker. She said:

It's an absolute privilege for me to volunteer my time to be given the opportunity to help sick, injured and orphaned animals. Helping wildlife get the care that they need is extremely rewarding and fascinating all at the same time!

Speaking to the younger generation in schools about the RSPCA and how to help care for animals is rewarding because children are enthusiastic about animal-related topics and they naturally show a keen interest which for me is fulfilling.

Retired teacher, Chris Young, is a school speaker and volunteers on the fundraising committee at our Felledge centre in County Durham. She said:

I enjoy this type of volunteering so much because it gives me an outlet for my creative skills: making and decorating cakes, homemade dog treats and other craft items to sell at events to raise funds.

I also am trained to be a guest speaker in schools to help promote the work of the RSPCA and care of animals. This will allow me an opportunity to use my skills as a retired teacher. Volunteering is a way for me to contribute to a very worthy cause, it also allows me to utilise my skills in a very positive way.

If any of these experiences sound like your dream volunteer role, please visit our website to find out about opportunities near you.

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