Shelter Life: June 2017

IMAG7759_BURST002_COVERWe have been exceptionally lucky for the last month to have had a volunteer all the way from France, who has been throwing herself in to every aspect of Shelter life.

Alice, from Metz in North-Eastern France, is a student who’s university supports foreign work placements and we were lucky enough to benefit when she joined us for 5 weeks, and supported everyone from the kennel team to Fundraising and the Education team. For Alice it was an opportunity to learn more about how a British shelter operates, as well as experiencing British life for a while. I’ll let her tell you a little more about her experience…

“I was so lucky to find Cheltenham Animal Shelter and be accepted for a placement, it has been a wonderful 5 weeks. I have been able to work with everyone in the Shelter and learn how things are different here to the animal centres back home in France. We do not have the facilities I have seen here, Shelters do not have vets and grooming available in France. The rehoming process is also more involved, back home we don’t do house visits for example. I liked seeing Rosie (the behaviourist) work as well, and how the team train and exercise the animals every day. The dogs here get so much time and care, something we could definitely improve back home”.

I asked Alice what her favourite memories of her time here will be, and she didn’t hesitate in answering. “The Animal Days and education projects are brilliant. Now I have seen it, it makes so much sense to bring children in to Shelters and teach them, but it doesn’t happen in France. Also the Charity Shop, another idea that we do not do, but giving a second life to things as well as animals, I love it! I have also had the opportunity to enjoy fish and chips and a weekend in London, I hope I will do both again one day.”

Alice has also been teaching us a few things, and has delivered some amazing results in her time here. Volunteer Coordinator Erica Harden elaborates “Alice has helped us so much in preparation for Open Day, with our education events and with so many little projects that we otherwise couldn’t have hoped to complete. She’s leaving behind a real legacy after only a short time and I know we’re all going to miss her”.

Thank you to Alice for all her hard work through May, she made a real impact on the Shelter and I hope she will take lots of ideas back to France with her and have the same impact on animal’s lives on the continent.