VOLUNTEER TO HELP THE HEDGEHOGS
We cannot normally take anyone under 16 years of age.
Hedgehogs are sweet little guys, most of the time. Occasionally we get a demon but they are few and far between. So what does this mean for anyone who offers to help out?
Well, it is very normal to get spiked unless you are wearing extremely thick gloves. Cleaning out cages doesn't necessarily mean having to handle the hogs though. Some have a bed box and others are in separate areas outside in hutches, however, refusing to learn how to safely handle them severly restricts your usefulness to us. We need people who are confident with handling, those of a nervous disposition tend to drop the animal in a panic and we are trying to fix them, not break them.
Some of our sick guys need a lot of treatments. Volunteers are not expected to do any of that so we're the ones that get bitten, not you, but it's a good idea to make sure you have an up to date tetanus injection as the cages sometimes bite back.
If you're not a fan of the stuff that comes out the back end then hedgehog care is not for you. They produce vast amounts of liquid and solids and spread it around liberally over the floor, up the walls, in their bedding and some seem to spend the night shoving it through the bars and onto the floor.
We clean everything out daily. Cleanliness is paramount to avoid spreading illness and even if it wasn't, the smell from one cage not cleaned for 24 hours is unbelievable. We have A LOT of cages... and no gas masks.
We try our absolute best to accommodate people with various disabilities or illnesses who want to help out as volunteers. I have MS and am more than aware of the barriers that can raise. We get quite a lot of requests and as long as you are physically capable of doing the tasks then we are happy to have you on board.
We take health & safety very seriously and provide the safest working environment we possibly can - clear space to work safely is paramount and unfortunately wheelchairs take up a lot of room. We have very limited space and there is lifting involved with no space to get a chair underneath the cages. If you do use a chair please don't be upset if we have to refuse access to the animals, we will always try to find something else you can be involved with.
I do however have to make it clear that we cannot provide a bus service to get people here nor can we afford to pay for taxis to pick up and take back home.
If all of the above hasn't put you off then animal care assistant may be the role for you.
Apply to volunteer
- for those prepared to muck in and sign up. Download a PDF file, opens in a new window, you will need Adobe PDF reader to view this file..
If all the above has put you off but you would still like to help out, there are a number of ways you can do that.