Jennifer's Volunteering Story

This year, an extended Volunteers’ Week celebrates Britain’s 21 million volunteers who give up their time for good causes.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of PDSA, helping to raise funds to treat 470,000 sick and injured pets across the UK every year. In Thamesmead, one volunteer in particular is being celebrated for her commitment to the charity.

Jennifer Wöhle –Thamesmead PDSA Pet Hospital, The Freda Powell Centre

When Jennifer decided to volunteer for PDSA she had no idea it would lead to a future career…

When Jennifer Wöhle found herself with some free time on her hands she knew that she wanted to help a good cause. And with a Diploma in Animal Care, PDSA was the obvious choice for her.

Jennifer said: “PDSA’s dedication to help pets and their owners is what sets the charity apart.”

When she started volunteering the PDSA’s Pet Hospital in Thamesmead, the Freda Powell Centre, Jennifer didn’t expect to be given the opportunity to experience so many different aspects of how a busy Pet Hospital works. While her day to day role involved assisting the nurses with keeping the kennels clean and tidy, she also sat with the pets as they came around from anaesthesia, spent time calming the more nervous patients, prepared surgical kits and helped with some admin duties, gaining numerous skills along the way.

The staff quickly noticed Jennifer’s amazing affinity with their pet patients and soon began to call on her to assist with the handling of particularly timid cases. Jennifer had become an invaluable member of the team, and Nurse Team Leader Susan Porter suggested that she consider training as a Veterinary Nurse.


With Susan’s support and encouragement, Jennifer enrolled at the College of Animal Welfare and is looking forward to using her skills to help as many sick and injured pets as she can throughout her new career.

Jennifer says, “To be honest this wasn’t something I’d planned on at all. When I started volunteering I wasn’t sure if the medical environment was something I could manage, but I received so much encouragement from Susan and the team that I decided to face my fears and go for it! Volunteering has opened so many doors for me and I’m so grateful for all the amazing experiences I’ve had with PDSA. I now finally know what I’m meant to do!”

Jennifer would love to stay with at PDSA, but what’s most important to Jennifer is that wherever she goes, she can continue to make a difference, make every day count and be a part of something with a purpose.

Jennifer, a PDSA volunteer

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