Our events volunteers are such an important part of our volunteer team. These passionate people donate their time to help us talk to the public about who we are, what campaigns we’re working on and how others can get involved. We’ve been sharing our volunteer stories to highlight their dedication to our cause and the individual work they do for us. Today we talk to our events volunteer Iris. Iris is little fireball of energy, always coming along to our event stalls with a smile to talk to the public about OneKind, face paint and collect signatures …
When did you first become interested in animal welfare?
I have always been interested in animal welfare and with the years passing by and the amount of bad news we see daily about this topic, I decided to take part in it and be helpful in every possible way. To me, animal welfare is as important as my own welfare, as it’s been highlighted several times that it does affects my moods and my sleep.
When did you first come across OneKind?
The first time I came across OneKind was when I heard about the ‘For the Foxes March’ in Edinburgh last March, 2018. One of my friends invited me to take part in the march on Facebook and since then I decided I wanted to know more about the organisation and what they do. I also wanted to know more about what they achieved with these marches. Since this event, I have been proudly involved with Onekind.
How did you go about becoming a OneKind volunteer?
After the march for the foxes, I followed OneKind’s movements and campaigns. Not long after they were looking for volunteers for the Meadows Festival, which was very close to my house and that was the actual push for me to say “YES, I want to volunteer”. Once I knew about their causes and how much effort they put into their campaigns, I definitely wanted to be part of the movement and get my hands on it.
Can you tell us what your typical volunteer day looks like?
A typical volunteer day is full of fun! Getting the stand set up might be the most boring part, but it doesn’t take long and this is an actual key point. The way you display your material will affect how many people are interested in getting to know more about us. The rest is always nice chats with the public and you always get free time to rest. I also always get the chance to have a wonder around if happens to be at a fair or big event with other stands. I’ve also found that you can even make new contacts and find out more about other similar organisations, which is always good for knowledge and sharing concerns.
The days normally go very fast as it is exciting and each volunteering event is different; different faces, different locations, different people … but always the same will to help!
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because it is the best way to spend your free time. Volunteering gives you a great feeling that you’ve actually been doing something productive with your time. It also gives a feeling of happiness, doing and supporting something that concerns you the most. I would love to be fully hands on at an animal shelter or recovery rescue centre to help animals directly, however, I’m not in a place to do so. Volunteering gets me closer to this world and it’s great to see how many people are worried about the same thing that you are.
What would you say to people who are nervous about coming along to help at face-to-face public events?
I would say that is normal to be nervous at first if you are not use to doing these type of events. Take it easy, try to enjoy yourself and always remember why you are there! The people that volunteer with you are great and they’ll teach you a lot of things. They will always back you up if you feel confused, overwhelmed or need more information. Soon the nervousness gives place to smiles and good times. So don’t be afraid and just be yourself.
When you’re not volunteering, what else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I try to share websites, updates about campaigns and news about the animal welfare on my social pages to make more people aware. I try to encourage them to do something too. I currently fund-raise on Facebook and I am studying animal care, so one day I might get my own rescue centre!
Interested in finding out more about becoming a OneKind volunteer? Drop our Volunteer Officer an e-mail at Sarah.Mackenzie@onekind.org