Our volunteers are the reason for a lot of OneKind’s successes. From signing petitions to helping raise awareness at our event stalls, our volunteer teams are always out supporting us – joining the fight to end animal cruelty in Scotland. We want to share our volunteer stories to highlight their passion for our cause and the individual work they do for us. Today we talk to our volunteers, Ali and Mark. They volunteer for OneKind way up in Dufftown, in the North of Scotland, by raising donations for us via their coffee shop …
Tell us a little bit about your coffee shop?
We took over the shop a few months ago – we used to love coming in as customers so, when we heard it was up for sale, jumped at the chance to buy it. As well as selling coffee & cake (including non-dairy & vegan options), we stock cards, gifts and art, all made by individuals or small businesses. Mark is a photographer and I’m a crafter so it’s really important to us that artists have the opportunity to showcase their work.
We are both also mad about wildlife, animals and nature and this is pretty obvious if you look at our art!
How have your customers reacted to you raising money for OneKind?
Customers have really embraced the idea of the book sale! Some have asked for more details about OneKind and we’ve had some really great conversations and given out leaflets about the work they do.
Several customers have been so keen to help that, as well as buying books here, they’ve donated books of their own!
Why did you decide to raise money for OneKind specifically?
We’re OneKind members already so it was a fairly easy decision to fund raise for them. As we already mentioned, we are very passionate about animals and wanted to help a smaller charity that shared our views. We both used to work for an animal welfare charity, so we saw the suffering first hand (both deliberate cruelty or neglect due to ignorance) inflicted on pets and wild animals.
We’ve had many rescue animals over the years- cats, dogs, ferrets, rats, and reptiles. We currently have a bearded dragon and a Yemen chameleon!
What’s an issue relating to animal welfare that you feel particularly passionate about?
There are so many animal welfare issues, it’s disheartening at times.
I suppose, if we had to pick one we feel especially strongly about, it’s hunting. Whilst it’s important to try and see things from other people’s perspective, it is absolutely beyond us how anyone could be so lacking in empathy for another sentient being that they could take pleasure in killing it. There is no place in the 21st Century for it and we feel the present Hunting Act should be strengthened to prevent the legal loopholes used by so many hunters to justify their appalling behaviour.
The ‘culling’ of badgers and also of mountain hares is just an extension of this. The ridiculous claim that it’s necessary for scientific reasons would be laughable if it wasn’t so awful.
What’s your favourite kind of cake?
Mark’s favourite cake (although not technically a cake I think …) is tiffin. Mine is carrot cake, or lemon drizzle, or pretty much anything!!
What are your favourite animals?
Mark’s favourite wild animals are hares and mine are foxes, but we basically love all animals and although I shouldn’t say it, we prefer animals to people!
Want to learn more about the ways you can volunteer for Onekind or would like to be featured in our volunteer profiles? E-mail Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0131 661 9734