Why I volunteer...
Published: Jun 1, 2018I have been volunteering one day a week as a Zoo Host volunteer at Newquay Zoo for eleven years now - and it’s the best thing I ever did!
Hi Everyone, my name is Connie. I have been volunteering one day a week as a Zoo Host volunteer at Newquay Zoo for eleven years now - and it’s the best thing I ever did!
Not only am I absolutely mad about animals, but I love to talk and I get to do a lot of that here! It’s nice to share my knowledge with other people rather than bore everyone at home. I did study animal husbandry at college with a goal to become a zoo keeper. Health issues changed that but this is the next best thing and at least I don’t get dirty!
During my day I walk around the Zoo, talking and listening to our guests, answering questions and telling them about the animals – their names, birthdays, which one is Mum and which one Dad, all with the help of my trusty folder of information.
As part of my role at the Zoo I help guests out when they’re trying to find animals in their enclosures and show them where they’re hiding. I’ve also been given a new role as a photography volunteer. That’s fun, knowing one of my pictures might go into a brochure or on the web page.
Over the years I’ve seen the Zoo change a lot. I have helped with animal enrichment, with animal encounters, been involved with brilliant events at Halloween, Christmas and Easter. When I talk to guests I also pass on the importance of conservation and the roles that zoos and wildlife parks play. I emphasise the fact they are here to educate us and future generations so that we can all help to save the vulnerable animals around the world.
When asked why I volunteer, I always say, why not?! I’m helping a fantastic cause and the Zoo has helped me, too. As I’ve said, I love to talk but I always needed a little push, especially when I was younger – this has brought me out of my shell. Being at the Zoo and meeting lots of different people really helped. It always was my ‘happy place’ and it still is. Also I am re-living a bit of my childhood as I volunteered at the Zoo when I was a teenager …so thank you.
Connie Slaney - Zoo Host Volunteer / Volunteer Photographer