I was brought up on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales and from a very early age was fully involved with caring for cattle and ponies as well as guinea pigs, rabbits, and many cats and dogs. It was a fantastic place to grow up and be outdoors for most of the time, whatever the weather.
After a 30 year career working in financial services, I have retrained as a yoga teacher, which I really enjoy. With more time on my hands I wanted to volunteer in a role that brings me back into contact with farm animals (whilst benefitting the wider community) and being a Farmyard volunteer at Vauxhall City Farm achieves just that.
I’ve been surprised by how natural it feels to put a head-collar onto a horse, or a halter onto a struggling goat, even after such a long time away from doing so. Spending time with the animals on the farm is immensely satisfying for me. They are calm and fascinating to be with. Many, such as the goats, have an almost human sense of humour.
I also really enjoy the manual work on the farm – from mucking out stables and chicken runs to hauling hay and straw supplies – it’s a great way to reduce the volume of mental chatter and gain satisfaction from achieving a practical task.
The volunteers at the farm come from a wide range of backgrounds and everyone brings their unique skillset and personal story. But there’s a common shared purpose of providing the best possible environment and care for the various animals and birds at the farm – and I’m very proud to be part of that effort.