Every year, the staff at ARU Students’ Union gather to volunteer in the local community at our ‘Make a Difference Day’. On Wednesday 14th December staff from all campuses headed to Shepreth Wildlife Park for a sunny and warm day of volunteering activities and team bonding.
Shepreth Wildlife Park, located just 30 minutes outside of Cambridge, is one of the many organisations that the Volunteering Service partners with to offer volunteering opportunities to our students. As well as our always popular one-off volunteering trips to the park, we also have over 10 on-going student volunteers who regularly volunteer at the park alongside their studies.
(Above from left to right: Otters, Tiger, Red Panda, Porcupines. Photo Credit: Alexis Mannion)
Our 35 strong staff team conducted a multitude of tasks on the day which including raking and clearing leaves, clearing the lake of fallen branches and resurfacing animal enclosure borders with bark, helping the park look clean and tidy, ready for the public and animals alike to enjoy. This operation took teams to rake leaves, fill wheelbarrows, wheelbarrow back, forth and around the park and teams who were resurfacing enclosure borders and raking and sweeping pathways.
We also had staff who were volunteering in the Hedgehog Hospital, clearing out animal enclosures, painting the walls inside of the bat enclosure and feeding animals including the meerkats and porcupines.
(Above: ARU team raking and disposing leaves. Photo Credit: Emma Howes)
(Above left to right: Dan Login, Democracy and Representaion Manager and Grace Anderson, Education Officer, Susan Dickenson, HR & People Operations Manager shovelling bark, Jamie Smith, Activities Officer Cambridge picking up leaves, Jo Harborw, Head of Student Opportunities & Services and Edna Johnston, Advisor Cambridge cleaning out hedgehog boxes. Photo credits: Emma Howes).
In total our team volunteered over 140 hours, the equivalent of over 20 working days! With such a large team of volunteers, the park can complete tasks far quicker than the parks small staff team could by themselves and they are always grateful for the help of volunteers.
If you would like to visit the park yourself and to see all the animals that were able to see, please head to their website here. The park is very easily accessible by train and cheap to get to.
If you are considering volunteering at the park yourself, keep an eye on our GIAG page for future trips, or head to our Volunteering page to create your volunteering profile, browse all current opportunities and apply!
(Above left: (from left to right) Alexis Mannion, Finance Assistant, Burcin Drummond, Advisor Cambridge, Kathtyn Younger. Welfare Officer, Leigh Rooney, President and Katie Pether, Student Opportunities Coordinator Chelmsford. Above Right: ARU Students' Union Staff. Photo credits: Alexis Mannion).