Amy started volunteering with us in 2017. She was studying Level 1 Animal Care at City of Bristol College and as part of that course she needed 150 hours work experience. After she’d completed them all she decided to continue volunteering at the farm as she enjoyed coming so much. She also went on to get a job with Bristol Pet Stop and was really inspired by her manager there to begin her own business.
This summer she started up her own animal care business – Peachy Dog Walking & Pet Services. She not only does dog walking and cat and dog sitting, but care for more exotic pets too, such as reptiles. Business has been great with enquiries all the time, and she now has a waiting list! She says currently her most unusal job is taking care of a parrot.
Chelsea and Moya have been volunteering with us since last autumn. They are studying Animal Care Level 2 at SGS College, and come to the farm as their work experience.
They both think that the best thing about volunteering is that they get hands on exprerince with the animals, not just reading about it or watching videos. They feel that it has helped them with their course.
Their favourite jobs are anything to do with the baby animals, and were very pleased to have been here when two of the baby goats were born.
Last week we had four Yr10 students here to do their work experience.
The students are from different schools, but had all chosen to come to the farm. Kian likes animals and had worked with horses before, Henial likes animals and is local to the farm. Emma had worked with chickens before and wanted more hands on experience as did Meg.
They all loved everything about working on the farm, being outdoors and working with the animals, and said that they would definitely love to come back. They all felt that volunteering on the farm had improved their confidence and given them practical skills for other areas of their lives.
Their favourite part was the goats. Kian and Henial’s worst part was digging hole, Meg and Emma’s worst part was carrying brambles.
Katie has been volunteering with us for over 3 years. She first came for work experience whilst studying for her Level 3 in Animal Management. She is now in her final year of a Foundation Degree in Animal Management at Weston College. She also works as an Animal Care Assistant at Animal Farm in Brean.
Katie says that volunteering at the farm helped her get on her Foundation Degree course and helped her get her job, for two reasons. Firstly the farm was able to provide her with a reference, and secondly the experience and confidence she’d gained through coming here really impressed the college and her employers.
She loves volunteering at the farm and especially likes new experiences and making friends, and says there are no worst parts for her. She really loves every day! A few weeks ago, Katie was lucky enough to see Snowy give birth to her kids. She says that was the best birthday present ever!
I began volunteering in Feb 2016 when I was doing my Animal Care course. I was coming to the farm twice a week (Wed and Fri), in order to complete my work experience hours for college. I completed my course in July 2016. Having finished my course I realised how much I enjoyed working with the farm animals and people, so I decided to continue as a volunteer.
I have continued volunteering every Friday, even though I have recently got a job in WH Smith, I still want to volunteer as often as possible. I used the farm as a reference when I applied for my job and I believe my experience at the farm has been very useful, particularly when talking to customers and working with other staff.
I really enjoyed helping out with the Farm Tots on a Wednesday which I now miss due to work. I hope I will continue to make time for volunteering at the farm as its very beneficial to me, and I’d recommend it to anyone thinking of giving it a go…