Volunteer Day at Raystede Animal Sanctuary

Colin Differ

June 14, 2018

Every month, each and every person at Propellernet has the opportunity to take what we call a Propel Day – a day to focus on an activity of your choice, but one which will help you develop, whether that’s professionally, personally or emotionally. Examples of great Propel Days include Barbican exhibitions, ski shows, fermenting classes and an endless list of mind-expanding talks and conferences.


In May, a few of us at Propellernet made the most of the excellent spring weather and used our monthly Propel Day to travel to Raystede Animal Sanctuary in Ringmer to help out their estate team with whatever they needed doing.


For those who have never been to Raystede, it’s an animal charity which rescues, rehomes and provides sanctuary to more than 2,000 animals each year. The animals range from dogs and cats, to chickens and hamsters, birds and donkeys. Some animals are rehomed whilst others need sanctuary for the rest of their lives. Its an amazing organisation that runs totally on volunteer money and costs around  £6,000 per day to run.


As well as all the wonderful members of staff that work there, they also rely on a team of volunteers. One of the programs they run is a corporate volunteer day, offering corporate teams the opportunity to take some time away from the office and come and help around the center in a variety of jobs. This is the opportunity Randip, Lauren, Robin and Colin took when we traveled up there on a very hot day in May.


When we arrived, we were told we’d be planting trees in The Sanctuary, which is where a lot of hens, geese, cockerels, ducks and turkeys live. This area had recently had a bit of a renovation, adding a variation of terrains, a little pond and also building new hen houses of varying sizes for the birds to roost in.
Whilst the The Sanctuary was undergoing its makeover they asked for donations of trees. Their supporters kindly donated a total of twenty-seven trees via their Amazon Wish List, trees including a variety of fruit trees, willows and others. These trees weren’t there to make the area attractive (although they certainly will) but were there attract wildlife and even water from the ground, which will hopefully help to prevent flooding.



Once the renovation was completed, the Trees needed planting and that’s where we came in. Managed by the very friendly and patient John, we were informed where to place the trees, the best way of planting them and then told to crack on.


Whilst we were planting the trees, life in The Sanctuary carried on, the ducks bathed, the hens fought and Gregory Peck the turkey got angrier and angrier at the four amateurs daring to enter his home, which was fair enough really.


We spent around 7 hours there and planted nearly all the trees. Afterwards, the visitor team kindly took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of Raystede where we got to see all the great things they do there and all the animals they help.


It was an amazing day, and a great use of a Propel Day. I would urge anyone who wants to spend a great day volunteering to consider this. If not volunteering, why don’t you go up there for a visit on a weekend or day off? It really is worth it.



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