How to become an RSPCA volunteer

Do you love animals, have time to spare and would like to make a difference in your community? RSPCA Rochdale is a separately registered branch of the RSPCA and primarily responsible for raising funds locally. The branch relies on the dedication and support of its volunteers to provide an animal welfare service for those animals and their owners most in need in the Rochdale area.

The Rochdale & District branch needs volunteers to help the staff at the animal centre at Hollingworth Lake and to work at the Branch’s charity shops.

These are some of the ways you could help:

Charity shop work

The charity shops team are dedicated to raising funds for the local branch and to help local animals. We think it is best to do what you enjoy, so you can either do one particular task or move around and do a few more. The work usually entails working on the till, steaming the clothes, pricing and labelling items, sorting items, and changing window displays. Training will be given.


  • Help out at open days and other events at the animal centre
  • Help collect money in supermarkets eg during ‘RSPCA week’
  • Help organise a fundraising event eg a quiz or a social evening
  • Undertake a sponsored event
  • Create a fundraising page with JustGiving


With a large Animal Centre and shops to maintain we have a small voluntary maintainance team who would welcome new members to help with miscellaneous jobs.

Home visiting

The role of the home visitor is to visit the homes of potential animal adoptors to ensure their suitability for an RSPCA animal.

If you have experience as a pet owner and have your own transport you may be able to help. We re-home cats, rabbits, ferrets, ‘small furries’ and occasionally dogs. The branch covers a wide area around Rochdale, Middleton, Whitworth, Heywood, Milnrow, Littleborough and Todmorden. Let us know which areas you can travel to and the amount of spare time you may have. You will be asked to attend a two hour training course at the animal centre and then initially to shadow an experienced home checker on visits to potential adopters.

Practical animal care

Many volunteers enjoy working alongside the staff completing the day to day tasks such as cleaning, feeding, grooming and exercising of the animals. You will need to be aged 16 years or above and have a real love of animals. You will need to be motivated and reasonably physically fit as the work is strenuous.

Many of our volunteers help just for the pleasure of being around animals whilst others volunteer to gain experience of working within an animal environment. Mornings are spent feeding the animals and cleaning the animal accommodation.

The afternoons are spent socialising and grooming the cats and rabbits etc followed by afternoon feeding and cleaning.


Fostering means looking after an animal in your home on a temporary basis prior to it being re-homed. The animal remains in the ownership of the RSPCA. In some cases, the animal you foster may need to be fed on a very regular basis, such as in the case of abandoned kittens. Some animals may need wounds bathing or medication given. Others may just be stressed and will need a lot of tender loving care. We will always provide you with support. All fostered animals must be returned to the centre and go through our normal assessment and rehoming procedures.

Contacts for volunteering opportunities:-

Please print, complete and return a Volunteer Application Form to the address below:

Ruth Vaughan (for Animal Ctr/Misc) OR Shirley Mellor (for Shops)
RSPCA Rochdale & District
Hollingworth Lake Animal Centre, Rakewood Road, Littleborough, Lancashire

OL15 0AQ

For further enquiries please contact: -
Ruth Vaughan  Deputy Animal Centre Manager
Tel: 01706 861897

Shirley Mellor, Shops Manager
Tel: 01706 861897