Fifteen months ago, on a wet and windy weekend in Berkeley, the main BHWT Gloucester volunteer team was established. Although the team has now doubled in size, on their induction day they were a small, inexperienced group eager to throw themselves into every aspect of rehoming. Ruth Howell, the coordinator at Team Berkley, tells us all about how she started volunteering for the BHWT…
“I felt the calling after receiving a mailshot asking for volunteers who could help with transport on rehoming days. The role of site coordinator eggs-cited me and following an informal telephone interview I got the job.”
On reflection, Ruth tells us that the cautionary job spec lived up to its promises, “‘the day would be long and tiring but very rewarding’ it said, and boy was I blown away by the buzz I got at the end of our first day and our newly formed team.” Ruth continues : Lynda, is a perfect host at our site, “she’s accommodating, flexible and a hen-lover herself!”
According to Ruth the BHWT was there to support every step of the way, from a well-thought-out rehoming site starter kit to regular contact and updates from the team back at Hen Central!”
BHWT Berkeley is now a thriving team of 20 and still growing, made up all ages, genders and professions, from artists to teachers, housewives to carpenters, writers to health professionals. There are no prerequisites except a love of animals and a few hours at weekends helping out, whatever your strengths and interests there will be a way you can help on the day!
Ruth continues “the best thing about being part of a rehoming team is meeting new people.” Ruth tells us “Just this weekend one of our newest team members said she absolutely loved it, but needed to work on her chicken wrestling skills!”
It soon became apparent that everybody had their own strengths and jobs they were more suited to, so now it’s a case of everyone pitching in, although certain roles like ‘Hen Nurse’ and ‘Administrator’ are overseen by the same people each time.
“If I had to think of one of my funniest moments so far it would be about my wonderful Deputy Coordinator Elizabeth, who had agreed to meet me at the host farm to help with the setup. Elizabeth was a little late as she had pulled over in her car to rescue an injured bird. Not content with rehoming 225 hens that day, Elizabeth had brought along an injured seagull to be patched up – now that was taking her job very seriously!”