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Volunteer/Carer Policies & Agreement

Deanshanger Hedgehog Rescue (DHR) relies on the help and support of its volunteers who give up their time to help care for and rehabilitate hedgehogs from our local area. We aim to make your volunteering positive and rewarding.  We hope you enjoy the opportunity to support us and get great satisfaction from caring for the hedgehogs and preparing them for release back into the wild.


This document sets out our volunteer policies.  It explains what we ask for and what you can expect from us.  We hope you find it helpful, if you have any questions or would like more information please contact us.

PART 1 Volunteer policies


To help ensure a positive volunteering experience for all, we ask that all the team treat each other with courtesy and respect.

This is a practical and sometimes mucky job, so please dress appropriately.  Legs and body must be covered in case of spills. Sensible non-slip closed toe shoes must also be worn.

Hedgehogs can carry diseases that can be passed onto us, so we do not allow eating in the sheds, however you may have a bottled drink with you.


Deanshanger Hedgehog Rescue will:

  • provide a minimum of two training sessions for the carer in relation to the roles they will carry out, including infection control precautions and the risks involved

  • remain available for the carer to contact whilst working at DHR

  • cover any veterinary costs incurred for the hedgehog

  • make available PPE for the carer - gloves, mask and aprons

  • supply all the necessary products in order to offer the best possible care
    (including bedding, water, food, medication).

  • Ensure the hospital/sheds are prepped before each shift.

Carer’s Responsibilities - You agree to:

  • Follow Infection Control Guidelines and training given by DHR at all times when caring for the hedgehogs – (Infection Control Guidelines are issued with this agreement)

  • Maintain any equipment as directed and follow health & safety guidelines

  • Commit to providing the best possible care for hedgehogs in our rescue

  • Treat the hedgehog appropriately, always recognising that it is first and foremost, it is a wild animal and ensure handling and contact is minimal and necessary in accordance with training.

  • Demonstrate understanding of the risks involved in caring for a wild animal, including the possibility of being bitten, and understand that hedgehogs carry zoonotic parasites and will implement the necessary safeguards to reduce the risk of infection.


  • The role of a ‘hedgehog helper’ requires a commitment of 3 hours (per shift) – although sometimes you may finish earlier.

  • As a general rule we require 2 volunteers per shift.

  • Shifts start from 3:30pm onwards (if you wish to start earlier, please seek agreement from DHR)

  • If you prefer to work on your own, this can be requested - however by doing this you understand that there is an obligation on your part to ensure that you are able to finish all the cleaning out and daily duties for that shift.
    When we are full, this can be up to 23 accommodations (pods, icu’s etc) with at least one hedgehog in each space - taking at least 3 hours.

  • Splitting shifts are an option to keep in mind when we are full.

  • Use the DHR Volunteers WhatsApp to communicate your requests,

  • All shifts are to be booked on TimeTree – using the relevant prefix (1 or 2) and your name
    e.g. 2️⃣Rachel
    1️⃣ – for solo shifts (must be agreed first)

      2️⃣– for a joint shift.

  • We do understand that on occasion volunteers may need to leave early. If this is the case, we kindly ask that you can let us / the group know, ideally with 24-48 hours notice so that we are able to make any necessary arrangements.



  • Cleaning out cages

  • Feeding

  • Weighing and recording weights

  • Communicate with DHR management when weight loss occurs over 3 consecutive days or when you notice other significant or unusual changes in the hedgehog's wellbeing.

  • Health / body check

  • Record daily details relating to feeding, weight, faeces and additional notes.

  • Assisting with medication or treatment.

At the end of your shift

  • Check all cages are locked.

  • Ensure any hog concerns have been communicated to Dom / Rachel.

  • Tidy, sweep and clean down the hospital after your shift

  • Empty bin and replace

  • Highlight any shortage of stock and log on white board



  • We ask all foster carers to join the "Volunteers" WhatsApp group.  This allows us to easily communicate updates, news and any change.



  • All registered volunteers are covered by DHR's public and products liability insurance. 
    The insurance does not extend to unauthorised work carried out by persons not authorised by DHR; or to work or activities which are not properly supervised.  It is most important that you comply with the conditions of the DHR's insurance and do not do anything which might result in the insurance being voided.

  • Transporting hedgehogs – some volunteers help by transporting hedgehogs to / from the vets or picking up medication etc. Please be aware that DHR do not provide insurance to cover these trips and therefore by doing so you acknowledge you are doing this under your own insurance and confirm that you have the relevant insurance in place.



  • DHR is under a duty of care to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of volunteers and members of the public who are affected by its activities. 

  • As a volunteer carer we ask that you maintain a safe working environment. 

  • Please take reasonable care for your health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by your acts or omissions.


Zoonotic diseases or infections are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans, they may be bacterial, viral or parasitic.  Hedgehogs can be affected by a number of diseases that can also affect us. 

You will be given sheets on hedgehog diseases to read so that you are aware of the risks.


Gloves & PPE

In order to protect you from potential zoonotic diseases, all volunteers MUST wear gloves

- one thick pair (which is specific to each hedgehog), in order to protect you from spikes

- and a disposable pair to be worn under the thick gloves (optional).

 Aprons and masks are also available on request.

If the hedgehog has ringworm we recommend wearing an apron.


Volunteers who choose not to wear gloves when handling hedgehogs, acknowledge the fact that you do so at your own risk and DHR takes no responsibility for any transmission of disease which may occur.


Spike procedure

Any injury sustained where the skin is broken must first be encouraged to bleed then thoroughly cleaned with hibiscrub and warm water.

First aid advice should be sought from your GP - particularly in relation to tetanus cover.

All accidents / spikes must be reported to us immediately, so we can record in the DHR accident book.



At the end of each shift, please use the hand gel provided (even if you have been wearing gloves) and wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.



We recommend that if working with animals you maintain an up to date inoculation against tetanus.



DHR operates a no smoking / vaping policy and therefore, whilst caring for hedgehogs being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not accepted.



Some volunteers like to hold events to raise funds for the DHR.  Whilst we welcome all revenue streams, all fundraising proposals must be discussed and approved by us in advance.


It is important you do not use the DHR's name or logo in any way if it has not first been discussed and agreed with us.  Some fundraising events must be conducted in accordance with local authority guidelines, so please ask us before undertaking any sort of raffle or lottery.


All cash and cheques collected must be correctly recorded and should be paid into the DHR bank account (details upon request).  Please notify us when you have paid funds into our account so we can acknowledge receipt with our thanks.



All information relating to the DHR is confidential. It is important for all volunteers to keep this information confidential and not use or disclose without prior permission from DHR.


In line with GDPR your personal information will be kept in a locked drawer and once you are no longer volunteering this will be disposed of securely.



We ask that you do not make any comment to or provide materials to representatives of the media, other than with the prior approval from us.  Please direct all media enquiries to Rachel or Dominic who will be very happy to help. 


We do not allow photos of the hedgehogs to be taken or shared without our permission, so please ask before posting anything.



We recognise the valuable contribution that young volunteers can make and the ideas, enthusiasm and commitment they bring to the role.  Rachel and Dominic are both DBS checked.

The welfare of young people if paramount and so therefore, we tend not accept volunteers under the age of 16.  Any potential volunteers under age 16 must be approved by Rachel & Dominic and the necessary paperwork completed.



If you have any problems or complaints about your carer role or experience, or about any issue to do with the DHR, please go directly to Rachel or Dominic.  We take the concerns of our volunteers seriously and are committed to handling concerns and complaints promptly, sensitively, fairly and reasonably in line with our complaint’s procedure.



We reserve the right to refuse the offer of services of a volunteer, generally or in any particular case, and to remove the individual from our volunteer team.  We may exercise these rights at any time, with or without prior notice and without any reason.


We understand that volunteers' circumstances may change and if you wish to stop volunteering, please provide us with as much notice as possible on the date on which you will stop volunteering.


If at any time any of our policies are breached or we have concern for hedgehog/s in your care, your volunteer agreement will end.

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