If you love animals and have a passion for helping people, volunteering with Happy Paws Happy Hearts is a great opportunity to have a positive impact on your community! Happy Paws Happy Hearts was established to create positive social experiences by connecting the socially isolated with the RSPCA animals.
What is Happy Paws Happy Hearts?
HPHH offers unique animal care and training classes, designed to support people living with a disability or mental health challenges to work with rescue animals at RSPCA. Each participant’s individual strengths and development needs are incorporated into the program which uses well-established animal interaction methods to build confidence and social skills! Participants undertake rewarding care and training activities for shelter animals, enabling them to experience positive people interactions and prepare them for adoption. HPHH is an approved Disability Service Provider and registered with NDIS!
In April, HPHH will commence running regular casual sessions at RSPCA’s Toowoomba Animal Care Centre, where groups of people can come to the shelter to spend quality time with animals in need of a little extra love and attention. These sessions just focus on animal interactions and are run by a team of experienced volunteers.
What to expect
As a volunteer you will help our team deliver these programs by assisting our trainer in setting up and running activities and facilitating animal interactions. You will support individuals who attend our programs to work with rescue animals and reach their individual goals. We are looking for people who are enthusiastic and self-driven, with excellent communication skills. You must be open and happy to work alongside people with all sorts of abilities, and promote our values of inclusivity. Volunteers are integral to the success of Happy Paws Happy Hearts. Together, we can be a truly awesome example of what is possible in supporting people experiencing social isolation!
What are the benefits?
- Unique volunteer role within the RSPCA that involves working with both animals and people.
- Being part of an incredible team of dedicated and supportive volunteers.
- Work with a variety of animals including dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, wildlife and pocket pets. Helping to increase socialisation, resulting in better adoption outcomes.
- Assisting participants with their own personal growth and enabling them to become more confident, happy and socially engaged individuals.
- Opportunity to gain experience working with a wide range of people with different abilities.
What are the tasks?
- Setting up/packing down the room before and after the session. Creating a comfortable and happy environment where participants can come and feel relaxed.
- Collecting pre-selected animals from the Adoption Centre and bringing them into the session.
- Be pro-active in assisting our trainer during sessions, help coordinate activities and support individuals to complete tasks.
- Facilitate meaningful and safe interactions between animals and participants.
- Following the RSPCA philosophy and sharing this with visitors to the shelter.
What skills and characteristics do I need?
- Friendly and positive nature, confident in meeting new people and making them feel welcome.
- Excellent communication skills with an understanding of how to work with different groups of people, including elderly people and people with disabilities.
- Enjoy working as part of a team.
- Reliable, with the ability to self-direct
- Passionate about working with vulnerable people in the community
- Confident working with domestic animals and/or willingness to learn more about how to work with animals in a shelter situation.
When can I volunteer?
Our sessions run, Monday – Friday.We ask our volunteers to commit to at least one shift per week for a minimum of 3 months. Orientation and training will be required.
PLEASE NOTE: As part of volunteering with us you will be required to purchase an RSPCA Volunteer T-shirt for $30. It is also a requirement that before handling animals at the RSPCA you have an up to date Tetanus vaccination.For more information please contact the program assistant Jasmine on 0478 211 090 or visit our website www.hphhfoundation.org and register to volunteer.