by Charlotte Lim
“Bok – bok bok!’ Is the first thing I hear when I stroll into the headquarters of NSW Hen Rescue. It’s the usual friendly greeting by the chatty hens who welcome me into their home. This is their territory, not mine. And it’s a lovely one – it’s coincidentally always warm and sunny when I’m here, and the grass is a perfectly picturesque green. It’s almost as if it begs me to just place a picnic rug upon it and settle down outside.
It’s been a month since I’ve started volunteering as Admin and Communications Coordinator for NSW Hen Rescue and it’s been, with no exaggerations – the most rewarding and fabulous experience. I’ve done a bit of everything – social media posts, sending and responding to emails, book-keeping and accounts, hen care and coop-cleaning: you could say I’m now a jack of all trades when it comes to helping out at Hen Rescue HQ.
One of my favourite things about volunteering is the working relationship I have with Catherine, founder and CEO of Hen Rescue. Volunteering is an incredibly collaborative and team-based exercise: we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other, motivating one another and also keeping each other accountable for the deadlines we set to complete different tasks, whether that be replying to an email query or applying for funding grants. Catherine is a great listener, she’s receptive to all the ideas I bring on board and she’s also got this fantastic energy that strings everything together. I’ve learned so much from her already! And she’s incredibly generous when it comes to answering all my questions training me in whatever I need additional experience in.
Another great aspect of volunteering at Hen Rescue are the skills I’ve gained – I’m a lot more confident in phone reception, data entry and record-keeping, which are fantastic skills to possess as a university student who is soon to graduate. I came in with no experience in admin, and now I’m confident in my abilities to handle different kinds of software and manage both my team and external stakeholders. I also get to bring out my creative side when it comes to creating social media content: I’m a hobby photographer as well, so stay tuned for posts that I’ve created!
Hands down, the best thing about volunteering for Hen Rescue is seeing the direct impact of my actions in the lives of the animals. Although a lot of the work I do is behind the scenes, like making internal processes more efficient (e.g., I created and now manage a centralised task list in which all volunteers can now check what tasks need doing in their spare time), it frees up time for Catherine to dedicate herself to completing the animal care and doing more rescues.
Plus, when it’s break time I can spend time in the garden surrounded by chickens. What’s not to love?
If you’re looking to volunteer for NSW Hen Rescue too, please do get in touch with us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org with a little introduction about yourself, a copy of your resume, what kind of volunteering you’re interested in and if possible, let us know your availability (hours per week, ad-hoc volunteering, etc).