A TORFAEN animal sanctuary is appealing for volunteers as it heads into the toughest time of the year.

All Creatures Great and Small currently has around 60 registered volunteers - of which about 25 are active - along with 12 members of staff.

“If we don’t get that support, it’s a struggle,” said fundraising officer Charlotte Hemmings. “It’s a great place here but we need help to keep it going.


“We rehomed 315 animals last year, which is massive for a sanctuary of our size, but we still have about 100 permanent residents.

“At the moment the public are lovely at bringing in everything you can think of for the animals.

“Everything that is donated to us goes back into the animals. We are not a slick, corporate charity, but are just passionate about the animals.

South Wales Argus:

(Becky Hayes preparing food donated by Sainsburys in Newport at All Creatures Great and Small Sanctuary. christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

“There are a lot of people out there who may only have an hour or so free a week, but that is all we need.

“We are looking for people to hand out posters, to look after a couple of charity boxes in local businesses, walking the dogs and spending some time with our animals.

“We are also looking for volunteers to help maintain the sanctuary.

“We have four charity shops [in Pontypool, Cwmbran, Usk and Risca] which are in desperate need of volunteers with retail experience.

"The Risca shop has just undergone a refurbishment, which we have had great community support with.

“We always need more blankets and towels, toys, cat and dog foods. Even things that can’t be used at our sanctuary can be donated for us to sell in our shops.”

South Wales Argus:

(Shaun Abbott from Coleg Gwent clearing out the hen coup at All Creatures Great and Small Sanctuary. christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

The sanctuary is hosting a Volunteering Day on Tuesday, November 19 from 2pm for people interested in volunteering to come along to the sanctuary to find out more about what they can do.

Earlier this year, the sanctuary revealed plans to become a community hub, by offering a range of new services alongside rehoming centre for dogs, cats and small animals, and housing larger animals that are not able to find a new home.

It has partnered with Torfaen Training and Growing Spaces, a charity which provides rehabilitation, sheltered training and work experience within the community for adults with or recovering from mental health problems.

South Wales Argus:

(The Growing Space area at All Creatures Great and Small Sanctuary. christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

“There is a garden at the farm where the charity bring along people who have mental health issues, learning disabilities, or people who have been out of work for a long time,” said Ms Hemmings.

“The project helps them get out and socialise in a safe environment and helps teach them new life skills.

“We had one person who came here with Growing Spaces who had hardly left their house for around 20 years. After he finished coming here with them, he started coming back three times a week to help out around the sanctuary.”