Meet the Volunteer: Ella

From 1st to 7th June 2023 it is Volunteer Appreciation Week!

1st June 2023

This week we want to say thank you to our fantastic volunteers! The time and hard work they devote to the Charity is phenomenal and they save us thousands of pounds every year. Throughout this week we'll be sharing some of the stories from these volunteers.

The first of our volunteers we'd like to introduce you to is our Communications volunteer, Ella, who joined us in January, she has been interviewing various volunteers throughout the Charity to find out more about the wonderful work they do...

"I worked in Children’s services for 25 years in a variety of stress-inducing roles from front-line social worker in child protection to team manager. I used to say it was the best job and the worst job I ever had but was compelled to do it.

Due to my work history and post-retirement writing experience, Angel assigned me to staff member Lorna in the Comm’s Department. I was more than happy with this choice and felt it was right up my Street! My role was to interview volunteers for the Oak Tree Blog and Lorna would do the clever bits like layout, editing and uploading onto the Blog. I was allocated eight volunteers from different departments – although two came as a couple along with their wonderful Bassett Hounds - you’ll be able to read all about them in the blogs! 

I discovered another aspect of the Oak Tree ethos; the care and understanding of humans as well as animals!

Apart from utilising my writing experience, this was a wonderful introduction for me as a new recruit to learn about the Volunteers’ roles, backgrounds, experiences and existing skills. Also, what attracted them to Oak Tree in the first place and what keeps them coming back.

My initial contact was four years ago when my lovely West Highland White Terrier, Hamish, and my beautiful Chinese Crested, Toby, died within a year of each other.  Still in mourning, I looked on Oak Tree Website for a possible rescue dog.  However, in the meantime, a friend of a friend’s Chihuahua had a litter of three puppies and wanted to find their forever homes.  I applied, passed their stringent test and Jorge came into my life.

It took another three years for me to think about volunteering and when I did, I was very impressed with Oak Tree’s recruitment process which included a comprehensive application form requiring at least two references plus interviews and a tour of Oak Tree Farm.

One of the Volunteers I interviewed said, “Oak Tree helps people as well as animals...” and I believe this too.  After a couple of difficult years, I feel I’m being given a chance to do something useful.  Another Volunteer talked about "losing your identity when you retire", and I’m looking forward to my new identity as an Oak Tree Volunteer.

And finally, finally, my advice to someone thinking about Volunteering is; don’t wait as long as I did. Oak Tree will make you welcome and try to match your skills and interests with available roles."

  • If you're interested in volunteering, please click here!
  • We'll be sharing a new blog, written by Ella, each day on the Latest News section of our website - keep checking back for the latest!

Meet the Volunteer: Ella

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