How you can get involved

We have a variety of roles available, for example, our trustees, Sandra is our Hedgehog expert! Supervising all cares. Sam mainly deals with admin and social media work. Tracy is a trained physiotherapist and utilises her skills on disabled animals! she also does lots of fundraising and most of the accounting, Becky loves the hands on work and training others.

We would love to have you on board, you can do as little or as much as you like and full training is provided, though this has to fit in around busy periods. I would add one caveat to this. We do try and start slowly, these creatures are complex and require a great deal of knowledge, so don’t be upset if we don’t let you dive all in straight away. It takes over three years to be fully trained in all aspects of the hands on work, and like with everything, different people have different skill sets and capabilities, so we try and work out what is best all round – whilst still giving you a good dose of hedgehog time to boot!

Volunteer
Most rescues are overwhelmed in Autumn and April each year and we desperately need more people trained to help if we hope to make a difference to the decline of hedgehogs. We work with volunteers of all ages and would love to take on more as we are forever turning poorly hogs away as we are full. Currently Sandra is our only VALE TRAINED and certified volunteer, she oversees all training and protocol work. We maintain close links with the local vet practices.

Co-ordinated by Sandra, Sam, and Becky, the volunteer family we have built are truly amazing, and an invaluable resource without whom we couldn’t do the great work we do today. We aim to pass on our knowledge to the team. As a group of volunteers, we take pride in the level of care we provide and our volunteers love the hands on experience of working with hedgehogs. We love watching volunteer confidence grow whilst working with these amazing creatures. One of the many benefits of volunteering with us is making friends, all the while learning, and growing in confidence, it’s a mindful exercise and hard work but super rewarding and a massive sense of achievement when you get to release a healthy prickly bottom!

Foster/Overwinter
When the autumn comes we are usually in a race against time to cure, fatten up and release hedgehogs before the weather changes. Skinny hogs have no fat reserves to hibernate and pass away during hibernation. So when that cut off time comes, we need people who have a quiet room at home, who can clean, check and weigh the hedgehog daily and report back to the rescue, this is usually from around November to April weather dependant. This involves coming in to do some hands on training in the first instance before proceeding to foster carer.

NB. We know not all of our volunteers can afford to provide the equipment, and food hedgehog needs, we will try to make some starter packs available for those from who need a little help. Speak to Sam or Sandra

Fundraise
Firstly, as you can imagine all the medication, food and vet care we provide is costly, so we are always super grateful to those who fundraise for us. This suits some people who don’t necessarily want to be hands on and like to create and make things for us to sell or do sponsor work or just seek out donations for us. Some people like to help at fairs and tabletops etc.

We recently raised enough funds to build a shed in which to house our hogs, and enable more volunteers to be taken on, but that too is too small, having been full to the brim and having had several pet carriers on the floor occupied over winter due to lack of space and increased demand due to other rescues closing their doors.

Other
We take in hogs from throughout Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, and Northumberland and sometimes need people to bring in hogs when finders are elderly or have no access to transport. We also need some people to help organise ourselves better, to plan volunteer events, and get the community on board. We have already gained a large amounts with the help of Liz Twist MP who has been fantastic, but if you have the skills with your help we can work with more people, educating them on caring for wild hogs, signs to look out for. Or things like help with admin, and training for example.