Steph Britton volunteers at Durrell.
I have always been an animal lover and Jersey Zoo is one of my favourite places to be on the island. I used to work at a veterinary practice but moved into an office-based role at the hospital around 7 years ago.
When the pandemic hit, I was still working full time as normal, but I found that my weekends had been freed up. I took the opportunity and was able to sign up without any worries or hesitation.
I began volunteering in the Bird Kitchen at weekends preparing fruit for the soft billed birds in November 2020 and then in March 2021 I started as a Zoo Ranger rotating in shifts with other volunteers around Butterfly house, Gorilla enclosure and also over with the Bears, Bush Dogs and Howler Monkeys. I spend my time engaging with visitors, chatting about the animals and the amazing work Durrell does, giving directions and promoting safety near the enclosures.Chatting to members of the public about the animals and the work Durrell is doing feels so rewarding as this kind of interaction is not something I would get to do in my full-time job. I have found a lot more happiness in recent months and now have the ability to relax and switch off from work life in such a beautiful environment.
I feel honoured to volunteer with such a wonderful organisation and thankful to Dan and the team at the zoo for making me feel so welcome. I really enjoy seeing the look on people's faces when they have an experience that they may not have elsewhere on the island.
Thinking of volunteering? Make the time and do it for Durrell! I haven't looked back since I signed up as a volunteer and have had so many lovely experiences because of it. If you are interested in helping out or even if you just want to find out more about the various opportunities definitely have a look on the website or ask any of the volunteers how they got involved.