International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Monday, 14 November 2016

24 Hour Volunteering!

Ever think of doing something good? Helping people and the community? WHY NOT TRY VOLUNTEERING? The University is not always just about studying, rushing assignments or thinking about what to cook for dinner. It is also a place for us to explore and try something that we have never done.

I always love volunteering and I am a volunteering ambassador from Sheffield Volunteering (You can find more about it here: https://su.sheffield.ac.uk/sheffield-volunteering). 24 hour volunteering is one of the biggest events during autumn semester where there are various activities  happening throughout the 24 hours. Events include helping the elderly, planting trees, cleaning parks and rivers and so on.

I applied to be an ambassador for one of the events, which was Animal Day organized by the RSPCA (https://www.rspca.org.uk/home) during the 24 hour volunteering. On that day, I brought a few volunteers to the RSPCA – Sheffield Animal Center. We were all very excited to have the chance to work with lovely cats and dogs! ANIMAL LOVER HERE!

            Our main responsibility for the day, was to clean up the dog and cats shelters, feed them and also spend some time with each pet.  Dogs and cats were allocated separate areas (they don’t really live in peace with each other). I was assigned to look after 5 dogs that day. I spent about 20 minutes with each dog, the reason for this was to observe the behavior of the dogs and also to ‘communicate’ with them. At the same time, I fed them snacks that actually smelt really good. Surprisingly, their favourite snack was a cheese and ham spread!


It was great fun and I found that every dog has his or her own personality. Some were very active and always running around, some liked to play with balls. For example, Missie was a quiet and loving dog. She was a little shy at first but she eventually ‘opened up’ and became very friendly. Here is a picture of Missie (Diagram 1) and also a selfie of us (Diagram 2).

Diagram 1: Missie

Diagram 2: A selfie of myself and Missie
           
            I also got the chance to feed them at lunchtime! The menu for each individual dog was written on a board which was suitable for their particular health and appetite requirements. There were a few types of food, some dogs were fed soft meat/wet food, whereas others were given dry dog food or even both. Last but not least, I followed my leader to clean their shelters and of course, picking up poo. My leader said that I don’t consider myself coming to an animal shelter if I do not pick up any dog poo.

            It was one of the best experiences I have had, as I have not been to an animal shelter before. It was also a great opportunity to relieve the stress from University work. So, is anyone up for volunteering? Here is the link to find out more information about volunteering and how you can get involved: http://su.sheffield.ac.uk/sheffield-volunteering/how-to-get-started



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