Being a BSWT volunteer can bring great rewards

Swan notes
Swan notes

I was at my wits end trying to do the jottings for this week as I am still away in Dubai, but I asked Jackie if she could write a bit for me and she came up with the piece below.

We hope all our volunteers get some satisfaction from helping us and I think Jackie sums it up well.

I will catch you up with all the up to date things on my return next week. We still need newspapers if you have any.

Pat

What I do and why

When I became a volunteer at the Swan Trust many people I knew asked what being a volunteer involved.

I thought I would write this piece for the jottings as there may be many people who would like to help but are worried what will be required of them.

Cleaning and feeding are the main day to day tasks a volunteer does, as you are not squeamish and don’t mind smells, for example hedgehog poo is quite smelly, but I soon got used to it and gloves are provided.

Hedgehogs are so cute that smells are forgotten.

Weighing the animals and birds to check on their progress is also very interesting.

I have learned a great deal about how birds and animals live, what they eat and how they inter-react with one another.

When we had our two badgers, Hazel and Joy, both with horrific injuries caused by snares, it was the first time I had ever seen a badger close too.

When I saw them in pain and yet trying to keep going I grew to have a great respect for these animals.

As they improved in health and their wounds healed I got a great deal of satisfaction knowing I was part of the team that had assisted in their recovery.

It was a very happy day when they were released.

It really gives me a sense of wellbeing and achievement to see wildlife which would not have survived without our help being released.

Sadly not all our patients do survive, but at least something has been done for them.

When animals and birds come in so badly injured and there is no hope for them, at least their suffering is over quickly and they can be put to sleep.

I always think of the David Rollo Centre as a nursery in the spring and summer with all the orphans being raised.

The little hedgehog in the photo is really cute. Any baby bird or animal is loveable.

The rest of the year it’s a sort of Bed and Breakfast/hospital ward.

I have also made a lot of new friends through volunteering.

We always have a coffee and chat over a chocolate biscuit (or two in some cases) after the work has been done.

I am so glad I plucked up the courage to ‘have a go’.

So if you have a few hours to spare and would like to help give us a ring or call in any morning except Saturday, and have a look round.

Jackie