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    • 09 Jun, 2016

    Our behind-the-scenes volunteers

    We’re continuing to celebrate our wonderful volunteers this Volunteers Week! Below you can read exclusive interviews with two of our behind-the-scenes volunteers who help in the Fundraising & Marketing department. Both Rowan Williams and Bonnie Baker are professional photographers who generously lend us their time and skills to photograph our beautiful animals at The Mayhew and also capture the scene at many of our events. Read on to find out more about these two lovely volunteers!

    Bonnie Baker

    (photo above with Nugget at The Mayhew)

    How did you first hear about The Mayhew?

    I first discovered The Mayhew when I became self-employed a few years back and was looking into animal shelters to volunteer with.

    When did you start volunteering?

    In 2013 The Mayhew Facebook page did a reach out for photographers for the Hyde Bark event. As a photographer and a dog lover, I leapt at the chance!

    What made you want to get involved?

    I’ve always loved dogs however my work and current lifestyle in London means it is not a responsible choice for me to take one on permanently. Volunteering allows me to help many dogs rather than just one at a time; I don’t have a lot of money for donating directly, so giving my skills instead fulfils my altruism. And I get to cuddle dogs!

    When volunteering for us, tell us about what kind of things you get up to?

    I mainly photograph events such as Hyde Bark/Hounds on the Heath and Tinsel & Tails, but I also visit whenever I can to photograph the animals available for adoption.

    What do you like most about volunteering at The Mayhew?

    Actually, it’s helped me as much as it has helped the animals I’ve photographed as it’s great to get away from the computer screen! It’s also helped me improve my photography skills and meet interesting people at The Home and events. The only problem is when a particular animal steals your heart and you can’t take them home, but it feels good to know they’re in great hands at The Mayhew.

    Rowan Williams

    Rowan with George

    Rowan with her dog, George

    How did you first hear about The Mayhew?

    When I first moved to Kensal Rise in 2008 I had to leave my cat behind with my sister in Sheffield. Life felt very cold without a four-legged friend so I discovered The Mayhew in my search to adopt a cat.

    When did you start volunteering? 

    Sadly the cat I adopted died in an accident when he was only 5 years old. I wasn’t ready to adopt another pet but I wanted to help another animal so I started fostering both cats and dogs. I thought it was going to be heart breaking to hand them back, but actually it felt great knowing they were going on to their forever home.

    What made you want to get involved? 

    I know there are so many abandoned and stray animals out there and charities like The Mayhew will always need support. Being self-employed I don’t always have the finances to donate, but since I am in charge of my own diary, what I can do is give my time.

    When volunteering for us, tell us about what kind of things you get up to?

    I’m a professional photographer so I take photos when and where I can. I have done some photos for the calendars, portraits of the individual cats and dogs, documentary photography in the vet clinic and event photography at special events.

    What do you like most about volunteering at The Mayhew?

    I really love working with animals as I get to cuddle my subjects! They don’t always behave for the camera and it’s great practice for me. They keep me on my toes! Aside from that, the staff at The Mayhew are always so fun and friendly to work with.

    Anything else you’d like to tell us? 

    I regularly host a pop-up photo booth to raise funds for The Mayhew. If you would like some nice snaps of you and your pooch I’ll be taking photos at Hounds on the Heath (10th July) and The Nomad Cinema screening of Best in Show at Queens Park (3rd Sept). Alternatively, if you book a wedding or portrait photo shoot with me and mention The Mayhew, I will donate 10% of the cost of your purchased package to The Mayhew. You can see my work and contact me at www.rophotographs.com.

    If you’re interested in joining our pawsome team of volunteers, then head over to our webpage here to search for volunteering vacancies and how to apply.

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