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Post | June 2021 | For volunteers | 2 min read

Esmee's Story

Written by Kerry Wills
Picture of a rescued hedgehog

“The team at Prickles are very friendly and supportive – nothing is ever too much trouble for them and I love the hands-on experience I get by volunteering there.”

This Volunteers' Week, we'd like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who dedicate their time, love, and talents to supporting animal welfare in Somerset.

Esmee, a Level 3 Animal Studies student at Weston College, started volunteering with Prickles Hedgehog Rescue Centre last year when she was looking for a work experience placement.


She now helps to care for hedgehogs which are poorly, injured or orphaned. Thanks to the Prickles Team, over 4000 hedgehogs have been released back into the wild so far.


Here, she explains the role of a Prickles Hedgehog Carer and why she volunteers.


“So far I have clocked up over 35 hours and have really enjoyed the experience. I’ve learned how to handle the hedgehogs and help to clean their cages out, and weigh and feed them. I’ve also learned so much about hedgehogs’ lives and what to do if they are out during the day, injured or too small to hibernate. 


“I know the time I spend volunteering is very much appreciated by the Prickles team – andIi am happy to be an extra pair of hands when needed.


“I hope to train as a vet physiotherapist, originally I wanted to become a vet but couldn’t bear the thought of putting animals to sleep, so being a physiotherapist seems like a better option.


“The team at Prickles are very friendly and supportive – nothing is ever too much trouble for them and I love the hands-on experience I get by volunteering there.”


Pauline Young, Volunteering Officer at prickles says of Esmee and the other volunteers;


“Esmee is a valued member of our team with a great personality. She welcomes patients and visitors to the hospital and answers any queries they have, making them feel at ease and treating everyone with the utmost respect.


“We are so grateful to all our volunteers and would struggle without the assistance of the students who join us during the busy period between October and March, when we can have as many as 200 hedgehogs in residence. Their help with preparing the feeds for so many hogs is invaluable.”


If Esmee's story has inspired you to get involved in volunteering, click on the link below.

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