A foal at Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Volunteering at Ferne

Our volunteers help the colleagues to do a wide variety of things both on the sanctuary and in our charity shops. Below are the roles we have available.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please go to the bottom of this page and complete the application form.

Please be aware for all our onsite roles volunteers must be 18 years of age and over.

Animal & Sanctuary Guide

This is an exciting new role to help Ferne fully engage with its visitors, ensuring our animal welfare message, and environmental impact are effectively communicated. You will learn about the animals we have here at the sanctuary and develop a strong understanding of what’s involved in their care. Chatting to our visitors and helping to guide them around the sanctuary, adding value to their visit and further meeting our charitable purpose.

Kennel Volunteer

You will need to be an active person for this role. We expect volunteers to work in the morning and, in that time,  you will be expected to complete two long dog walks (approximately 45 minutes per walk). The terrain as you might expect in the Blackdowns is hilly and you may be walking through muddy wet fields at times. Some of the dogs are very strong on the lead and you will need to feel confident walking them.

As well as dog walking, we need our volunteers to help out with general care duties that will include washing up, kennel cleaning, moving and re-stocking of food. Outside, the paddocks need mowing during grass growing season and there is always poo picking in each paddock.

Small Farm Volunteer

Small farm volunteers need to like being out in all weathers – because you will be! A fantastically varied section but with a heavy cleaning load. Duties include scrubbing out rabbit and guinea pig housing, cleaning, and feeding, there’s plenty of fruit and vegetable preparation as well and also washing up. Lots of small furries in need of plenty of TLC. We will need a strong commitment to come every week as there is a lot of training on the section.

Estates Volunteer

Mechanically minded? Good at DIY? Estates volunteers muck in with the team. Tasks are many and varied from timber treating to repairing fences. Weeding and tidying of flowerbeds to keeping paths safe for visitors.

Gardening Volunteer

Help us feed our animals by growing fruit, vegetables and herbs. We have a lovely new polytunnel in which we can start off new plants and grow on others. We need help tending the raised beds and if you have a creative streak there are lots of pots and hanging baskets that need filling and tending. The memorial garden is also very important to us and to people who visit so needs regular care.

Visitor Services Volunteer

Ensure all of our visitors have a great time on the sanctuary. This role is on a rotation: week 1 gift shop, week 2, café, week 3 lunch cover. So, you will need to be comfortable using a PC and till as you will be using these in all these roles. The gift shops role includes stocking and taking money for purchases, the café is till work and helping clean down tables and loading the dishwasher. You may also be required to wait tables if the café is very busy. The lunch cover involves both gift shop and café giving other volunteers a break. There is also an hour of lunch cover in the visitor centre taking admissions money, renewing annual passes and answering visitor questions. Cash handling and PC skills to the fore. This role is available 7 days a week.

Charity Shop Volunteers

Steaming, stocking, cleaning, pricing, till work. All vitally important parts of a successful charity shop. We need at least 2 people each day to enable the shops to run effectively but the more the merrier! There is some opportunity in the charity shops to pick and choose your preferred work area but be prepared to muck in if needed.

Volunteer Fundraiser

Volunteer fundraiser support the fundraising team; you may get involved with on site or offsite fundraising helping to support the team to raise much needed funds for our animals

Driver’s Assistant Volunteer

We are looking for people to assist the van driver with collecting & delivering furniture, bags, etc from customers and retail stores. You will need to be physically fit as this role requires a lot of lifting.

 Café Assistant Volunteer

Would you like to help in our café, Nina’s? The role involves keeping the café clean and tidy and supporting the team by taking orders and serving food to our visitors