Basic level rules
You will have to read, understand, and agree to these rules to be allowed inside the gates at the sanctuary!
- When you arrive on site, if you have your own car make sure to park efficiently and mind the cats. Close all doors and windows! Cats are cats and they will quite often not move out of the way. They will get into your car/van and you might not find them till you get home! They will also get on your car so if you are worried about paw prints this is probably not a good place…
- Dress appropriate! This is an active sanctuary – expect to get dirty and sometimes wet. Don’t wear clothes that you are worried about getting ruined and in the winter, it will get muddy.
We do have a box with spare, dry socks and wellies if you need to change but please bring your own if you can. Hallswood is not responsible for damage to your clothing and footwear. Please make sure to wear appropriate clothes. We did have someone show up with a pair of brand-new white trainers and we had to send him home as he didn’t want them to get dirty!
- Make sure that you have filled in a volunteer form on site with relevant information. If you have any allergies, conditions or phobias please inform whoever you work with. This will help us keep you safe. Don’t ever feel that you HAVE to do things. If you are terrified of birds that is totally fine! Don’t ever feel pressured to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable!
- Before entering the site please spray your hands with Formula H (blue liquid in a bottle hanging on gate). If bottle is almost empty please tell a member of staff.
This should be done more often than not. Make it a habit to wash and disinfect your hands every time you see a bottle of Formula H.
- There is always a risk involved working with animals and birds. Ringworm, paramyxo virus, tetanus just to name a few. ALWAYS clean your hands. We advise that you use gloves and common sense at all time!
It is a good idea to read up on things like ringworm to learn more how it spreads and what it looks like.
- Hallswood works under the lead words Honesty and Respect. We all mess up at times but we do not lie about it. We are all individuals and we treat each other with respect.
Obviously it is better if we all follow the rules in the first place but IF you miss something just admit it and tell a member of staff asap. If you keep quiet someone else might get the blame, or even worse; an animal might get seriously injured or die.
- Hallswood is Hallswood. We work under our rules and the way we work might not always make sense to everyone else. We are very flexible and are proud to be able to help where many others will not. Experience from other sanctuaries and workplaces and education is great but it does not make anyone an expert. When you volunteer with us you follow our rules.
If anything does not make sense to you and you want to know why we do things the way we do: Ask! There are no stupid questions! If you break our rules because you think they don’t make sense or they are different to what you are used to you will get a warning. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave the site if they continually break the rules.
- The sanctuary is the home of not only Lyz but of course the animals and the birds. Treat them all with respect.
This is a sanctuary but it is also a home. Please be aware of this and be respectful with noise, clearing up your rubbish and help keep the sanctuary safe and tidy.
- Cats with collar are safe to stroke, other may not be and may scratch and hurt you.
Some cats without a collar will quite often still come up to you and ask to be fussed. Be very careful with these but not fearful. If you have any questions about any of the cats, ask a member of staff.
- Please treat our plants on site with respect and don’t squash them.
Please don’t walk on the plants. This might seem obvious to most but it has happened too many times not to mention it.
- All doors and gates need to be shut. Make sure that they shut properly behind you.
This is one of the most important rules there is. Always double check that things are shut properly; be that gates, doors, enclosures, cages or hutches. Always double check. If not, animals and birds can be injured or killed.
- Animals and birds must stay in the area they are in. This does not include free-roaming cats, they go where they want outside.
If you see an animal or bird in a place that you don’t think is right; inform a member of staff.
- Do not encourage cats into buildings and enclosures. If a cat with a collar gets inside a building or enclosure, please get it out again. If it is a cat you are not sure about (collared or not) please ask a member of staff to help.
- There are drinks for the volunteers available in the office. Help yourself!
If you notice that they are running low please let staff know. Please don’t wait till there is one left and then say something.
- There is a snack box located in the feed shed. NEVER leave this anywhere else and if you see it unattended please put it back in the feed shed.
Leaving this box unattended somewhere could result in serious harm to animals and birds.
- Any tools that you use MUST be cleared away and put back where they belong. If you are unsure ask a member of staff. If you use it you are responsible to put it back, it does not matter if someone else got it out.
We have had so many tools ruined by volunteers leaving them outside. This leads to money being spent on replacing them instead of on the animals. If you see that a tool is broken, let a member of staff know so that it can be replaced.
- Anything that touches the ground/floor needs to be cleaned.
The sanctuary is a high traffic area with many people, animals and birds walking around. It is inevitable that dirt and bacteria is transferred around the sanctuary and the ground is not going to be clean. If you drop something clean it and disinfect it before using it.
- The hosepipe end must never touch the ground.
After you use it make sure that you put it back where it belongs.
- Don’t throw things for the dogs or allow them to jump up.
It might look cute and fun but they might run into someone and injure them.
- The green central area must be raked every day. If you have five minutes spare always do this.
If it looks like it needs to be raked and you have time you can always do this. It doesn’t matter if it is done more than one time in a day.
- If you spot a poop in any area where people walk, please clear it directly. Scoops are located near the magpie enclosure with a bag for the poop. Put the scoop back into the solution as soon as you are done.
Don’t pretend that you don’t see it; next person through the gate might not and end up stepping in it!
- Lyz lives on site and her place is 100% off limits. If you need her stay outside the gate and shout her name. Obviously if there is a danger to life, no other staff on site and you get no response you do whatever you need to get hold of her. This is very unlikely to happen as we have other staff on site almost at all times.
This is one of the most important rules there is. Lyz gets very little privacy as it is and her space is sacred. Remember that she is on call every day all the time so when she manages to get an hour for herself, let her have that.
- Hallswood is a sanctuary and we often take on animals and birds that are elderly and/or sick. It is inevitable that you will sometimes spot a dead animal or bird. If you do, please alert a member of staff immediately so they can carry out any appropriate action. Do not pick it up – but if you do, don’t put it back down. Just bring it to a member of staff directly.
This is the sad part about an animal sanctuary and can be quite upsetting. If you see something that upsets you and you want to talk about it – please talk to a member of staff. Don’t ever feel like you are not allowed to or that you should just bottle it up.
- All aviaries and animal rooms should now have a colour coded system on the doors.
RED means do not enter, staff only. This is unless you have the right training and it has been agreed with by staff. Red means that it is a high-risk level area – this can be due to the animal inside, and/or cross-contamination risks.
ORANGE means enter only if you have the right level and training, and have been told by staff that it is ok.
GREEN means enter if you have passed level 1 training. Before you pass level 1 training you should always be working with another member or staff or volunteer.
Lyz’s home is always a RED zone. If you find an area that is not colour coded, ask staff before entering. All zones should be coded and if one is not it is very likely that the colour code has just fallen off. If you are ever unsure ALWAYS ask a member of staff first. Better safe than sorry!
- Hallswood is a flexible environment. Always check before entering anywhere as things will sometimes be moved. This means that a green aviary one week can be a red next, and where there was a turkey is now a buzzard!
Never assume that you know everything. You can be a volunteer for years and still find things that are new or that have changed.
- The animal hospital and the hedgehog hospital are RED zones and ONLY volunteers trained for the hospital are allowed inside. Trained volunteers are ONLY allowed in on their own if this has been agreed with a member of staff. If you need to get hold of a member of staff in one of these buildings, knock on the door.
Even trained volunteers are only allowed to work on their own if agreed with a member of staff. Don’t ever go to areas that you are not allowed to enter. If you do, it will lead to a warning.
- Sometimes members of public will arrive at the gate. If possible, accept the animal and bring it to a member of staff. Members of the public are NOT allowed on site as they do not have the right training. Hallswood is not a zoo.
It does not matter if the member of public insists. If they are difficult please alert a member of staff and let them deal with it. Remember to always be polite but don’t accept any abusive behaviour.
- If an animal or bird needs transferring to another box on arrival, alert a member of staff.
Don’t ever try on your own unless you have been told to do so by a member of staff. Don’t ever try to transfer an animal or bird from one box to another outside!
- If you see or hear anything that you don’t understand – ask! We have no secrets!
If you are not sure about something – ask! We rather you ask too many times than not at all!
If you need a break for whatever reason – Take one!
- Smoking is only allowed in certain areas – please ask a member of staff where.
- If you notice that anything is running low – let a member of staff know.
- We have first aid trained staff on site. Make sure that you know who it is on the days that you are working. Also make sure that you know where any basic first aid items are kept.
- Get to know who you are working with! It is advisable that you let whoever you work with know if you have any conditions or allergies, and that you know the same things about whoever you work with. Don’t be afraid to ask or tell – it will help us get help quicker if needed.