Work Experience

Volunteer placements are available throughout the year and the type of work varies between seasons. It is in your own interest to organise your placement dates for the time of year most suited to your requirements. Placements run for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of 8 weeks, starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. Please note that placements are only organised up to 10 months in advance.

To qualify for a placement you must:

  • Be aged 18+

  • Be aware placements run for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of 8 weeks

  • Complete an application form fully

  • Arrange your own transport and accommodation for the duration of your placement (please be aware Gweek is quite a remote village and public transport is limited)

  • Have an up to date tetanus check

  • Be physically fit and able

  • Provide the required documents requested from the ‘Right to Work’ sheet in the application form upon attendance

  • Be prepared to get stuck in with everything the Animal Care Team does!

Current availability

The next available volunteering dates are from 2nd October onwards.

Autumn Internship applications are to be in for 15th August.

All placements will include the same general daily routine with resident animal feeding, husbandry and care; however there is a different focus of activities depending on the time of year. The two different types of placement available are as follows:

  • Rehabilitation: mainly takes place from October to March with the rescue of grey seal pups. Aside from the daily routine, volunteers will additionally assist with the rehabilitation process including helping with pup clinical care, Hospital cleaning and maintenance, record keeping, rescues and releases.

  • Residents: from April to September there is more focus on activities with the resident animals. Volunteers during this period will additionally assist with providing them with a variety of behavioural enrichment activities and training sessions, take part in conservation events and also interact more with visitors.

All volunteers must apply using the application form that you can download here along with further detailed information regarding bookings, accommodation and clothing requirements. All placement dates will be agreed with our Work Placement Coordinator and following this must then be secured with a £10 deposit that is refundable on attendance. Failure to send a security deposit will result in the placement being cancelled if it is not received one month before the placement commences. Failure to attend will forfeit your deposit at the discretion of the Work Placement Coordinator and/or Senior Management.

Download your applications forms here

PDF Volunteer Application Form 2016

Internship Programme

Our Autumn internship runs from October – December and our Winter internship runs from January – March. You are required to commit a full 40 hours per week for 12 consecutive weeks.

During their time at the Sanctuary, interns will be exposed to a dynamic and stimulating work environment, and will assume a variety of responsibilities to support the Sanctuary´s animal programmes. Interns will be take part in a training programme to gradually increase their responsibilities among the animal care team.

Internship positions are unpaid, with each intern responsible for all travel and living expenses. The ideal candidate should be local to the area. However we will accept applicants from far and wide provided they are able to find their own accommodation and have their own transport.

Intern Qualifications and Responsibilities

The nature and demands of the role require prospective interns to meet the following criteria:- 
• Minimum age of 18
• Must have own transport and accommodation
• Good health, including ability to lift and move heavy weights (no less than 40 kg)
• The ability to work a flexible, full-time schedule
• The ability to learn quickly and perform varied tasks in a fast-paced work environment;
• The ability to laugh!

Volunteer internships can be used for academic or vocational purposes, but interns are solely responsible for making all arrangements for receiving relevant credit(s) as a result of completing the internship. Previous marine mammal experience is not required, although a pre-existing interest in pinnipeds and an animal care background would be an advantage.

The timing of the internships coincides with the facility´s busy seal pup rescue season (between September and March), and daily duties will be split between the rehabilitation of seal pups and the husbandry of resident pinnipeds.

An intern may be asked to perform a variety of tasks related to the various aims, programmes and activities of the Sanctuary. These duties fall into three broad categories: animal care and husbandry; facilities maintenance; public education and outreach.

Duties may include:-

•Daily animal diet preparations, including food, nutritional supplements and drugs;
•Daily cleaning of work areas and animal enclosures;
•Daily feeding and care of seal pups in rehabilitation programme (this cannot be guaranteed)
•Daily feeding, training and enrichment of resident pinnipeds; 
•Assisting with rescues and/or releases of marine mammals (this cannot be guaranteed)
•Assisting with animal treatments, examinations and sampling; 
•Maintaining animal clinical and husbandry records; 
•Maintaining equipment, facilities and supplies; 
•Talking to facility visitors about seal rehabilitation and resident animals; 
•Other activities relating to the Sanctuary´s operations, subject to supervisory discretion.

  • [Please note that this list is a guide; an intern may not be asked/able to complete all of these duties during the term of the internship.]

Application Process

Interested individuals are required to send:- 
• Cover Letter (with details of availability);
• Curriculum Vitae/Resume (with reference contact details).

Because only a limited number of internships are available, applicants are strongly urged to provide relevant evidence of their suitability for the role and of their potential contribution to the Sanctuary´s operations.

Please send your cover letter and CV to our work experience email.