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    • 01 Jun, 2021

    Volunteers’ Week: Celebrating a year of adapting

    This Volunteers’ Week, we are celebrating our incredible and adaptive team of volunteers. Even though some of our roles have had to be put on pause as we continue to navigate the pandemic, our volunteers have constantly supported us from afar, and have found new and creative ways to do so.

    From hosting animal anxiety sessions, meditation classes and Pilates sessions, to making masks, we are so grateful for the ingenuity, drive and creativity our volunteers have shown supporting Mayhew and the animals in our care.

    We spoke to just some of our incredible volunteers to find out how they adapted their roles over the past year.

    Carmen, virtual home visitor volunteerHome Visitor Volunteer

    “No one told me how rewarding it could be to be a Home Visitor; I am still here after 8 years!

    “Before the pandemic, adopters travelled far and wide for their best friend, from Liverpool or Cardiff and Nottingham, or Cornwall and Plymouth or just round the corner; they travel not once but twice! My job to is make sure our four-legged friends – dog or cat, pup or kitten – have a secure and safe home. This started with a phone call to the adopter, shortly after followed by the home visit – walking through the house and garden picking out anything that might need twigging for the animal’s arrival. You meet some lovely people this way! I would then report back and know that another animal was on the way to their new home.

    “Of course, 2020 changed everything and the Mayhew had to adapt, which it did by starting Virtual Home Visiting.

    “No longer do I walk around and up and down talking with the adopters, I now look through a small window into their home (with no peripheral vision to help you). I now have a call and a quick chat about what I’m doing and need, and then arrange a convenient time for the virtual home visit. I need my glasses now and focus harder to see behind a sofa or small gaps in the fence, or plants that could hazardous, and think about where the bed and food will go?

    “Most of the time the internet signal is great; only in their enthusiasm are adopters faster than the signal!”

    Aurelie and Marcel, Therapaws volunteerTheraPaws Volunteer

    “I’d always wanted to do something that helps others, offering some of my time to try to make a difference, and discovered the amazing work Mayhew does through Marcel’s social media, having attended and then helped to organise some of the fundraising events. Towards the end of his life, my father, who loved dogs and had Parkinson’s disease and had to be placed in a hospice, which had a resident cat. Whenever we talked on the phone he would ask about Marcel, and so when he passed away I decided to look into having Marcel assessed to become a visiting dog in memory of my father, and obviously Mayhew was the first charity that came to mind!

    “Due to the pandemic, we started setting up virtual visits and they worked so well, so, as I had quite some time initially being unable to work, and no need to travel to the hospital, we decided to have them every week instead of every two weeks. It’s been challenging at times, emotionally, to see the pressure that the NHS staff and patients were under, but it helped seeing the smiles, and feeling able to “do something” in the midst of this challenging year.

    “Another highlight was being interviewed by Sue Perkins to help raise funds during the online show last Summer, and also donating 4% of the proceeds from Marcel’s collection of corgi souvenirs to Mayhew.

    “I often joke that Marcel prefers the virtual visits because he gets a lot of treats just for “sitting pretty”. Marcel being Marcel, he is super calm during these virtual visits. He has on occasions had his ears up because a patient was calling him or making funny noises via the video call but also “slept on the job” many times. With that said we cannot wait to go back to seeing those smiles in person when it’s safe for all.”

    Lida, Mayhew Afghanistan volunteerMayhew Afghanistan Volunteer

    Lida graduated after two years of studying at Kabul Veterinary Institute in 2020. During the last year of her part-time studies, she started coming to our Animal Birth Control (ABC) clinic for practical experience. She works mostly in the prep room, preparing the dog for surgery, and sometimes she works in the surgery room, helping to monitor the dog under anesthesia. Lida tells us: “(It’s) a golden chance for me working as a volunteer in the clinic as I learned practically a lot that I never done and never seen during studying time in the institute, Thanks from Mayhew Afghanistan.

    Dr. Enjila, Mayhew Afghanistan volunteer

    Dr Enjila is a third-year student at Kabul University. She mostly works in the prep room, preparing dogs for surgery. She tells us: “Thanks from Mayhew Afghanistan (for giving) me a chance to volunteer for practical experience in the clinic, I learned more than I expected.”

    Ahmad Basit, Mayhew Afghanistan volunteerMayhew Afghanistan Volunteer

    Basit graduated after two years of studying from Kabul Veterinary Institute in 2018. He started working as a volunteer in our ABC clinic. He works in the prep room and in the surgery room to monitoring dogs under anesthesia. Basit tells us: “I learned a lot of things in the prep room during the last two years in the clinic and I love Mayhew Afghanistan to give me this chance.”

    Ahmad Milad, Mayhew Afghanistan volunteer

    Milad graduated after two years of studying at Kabul Veterinary Institute in 2018. He started working as a volunteer in our ABC clinic, mostly in the prep room and in the surgery room, monitoring dogs under anesthesia.

    Thank you to our volunteers from all of us at Mayhew!


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