Volunteering for Hoofbeats

We’re always on the lookout for volunteers – they are the lifeblood of our organisation and we couldn’t manage without them.

There are always lots of things needing to be done and there’s sure to be something to suit you.

Child safety and welfare is absolutely paramount to us. The children and young people who participate in our program need to have a safe and happy experience. We support and respect our children, young people, staff, volunteers and students.

All volunteers over the age of 18 years must hold a current Blue Card issued by the Queensland Government.

If you already have a card that’s terrific, if you don’t, the application form is easy to complete and we can do that together when we meet.

Requirements

All Volunteers need to become current members so that they can be covered by our insurance policies. The cost of an annual membership is $40 for an individual or $80 for a family. Membership is free for:

  • Seniors
  • Volunteers that have been volunteering with us for 10 years or longer

Details on current volunteering vacancies are listed below. If there is something here that you think might suit you, the next step is to complete an online application form.

Please note that we are not yet able to accept Junior Volunteer applications – unless the Junior Volunteer also has a parent willing to volunteer at the same time and provide supervision.

Adult Volunteers – click here to apply

Junior Volunteers – click here to apply – if you have an adult that is also applying and can supervise you while you are at the sanctuary

Volunteer Jobs

Sponsorships Manager

Caring for our horses is our biggest expense – approximately $3,500 per year per horse. To offset this cost, we’d like to find a sponsor for each of the horses and we need to keep in regular contact with them – inviting them to Open Days and events, sending them regular updates on their horse’s welfare and scheduling regular social media posts thanking them for their support.

We’d love to find someone to take on the task of helping us to contact prospective sponsors and take care of those who decide to become sponsors.

Commitment required: A  few hours a week until we have sponsors for all the horses and then probably less than an hour a week on an ongoing basis. You can work from the Sanctuary or from home – whichever suits you best.

Gardening Team

Our new location in Fellowship Drive, Doonan is a big space that hasn’t had a lot of love for many years and needs a good tidy up. We need a Gardening Team to keep on top of the regular mowing, whipper-snippering and weeding tasks as well as creating some colour in the garden beds and basically just making the whole space feel more welcoming, relaxing and maybe even productive (it would be terrific to get the children involved in growing beneficial herbs for the horses etc.). We’ll need half a dozen keen gardeners who are able to give a couple of hours each week, and a coordinator to pull everything together.

Commitment required: A minimum of 1-2 hours (no maximum hours – come as often as you like!) each week at a time to suit you would be terrific.

General Volunteer Team

Members of the General Volunteer Team are so important to what we do. They may not have the time to commit to a regular volunteering day but make themselves available to help out when they can with fundraising events, working bees and other things that might come up from time to time.

Commitment required: no set commitment – just helping out when you can 🙂 .

Fundraising Team

We always need help with fundraising and in the past we’ve had people volunteer to help out with the occasional thing when we yell for help but we’ve never had a really active, self-driven team. We’re really going to need one now! Whether it’s market stalls, sausage sizzles, book fairs, car boot stalls, raffles or whatever else you can think of, we need funds raised on a continual basis. We’ll need a minimum of half a dozen keen fundraisers who can give up a day or two a month plus a coordinator to plan everything and make sure we meet all the fundraising regulations etc.

Commitment required: 1-2 hours each week would be terrific to meet with the team and plan events. On the days of the events, a full day commitment may be required. Events are usually held on a weekend an not more than  once per month.

Maintenance Team

Our new location in Fellowship Drive, Doonan is a big space with a lot of infrastructure that hasn’t had a lot of love for many years and needs a good tidy up. We need a Maintenance Team to keep on top of any maintenance work which could include, painting, fencing, making pathways, minor construction jobs (for example: lining old covered holding yards to turn them into hay and feed sheds), hanging gates, building compost bays etc. We’ll need half a dozen helpers (preferably including a plumber and an electrician!).

Commitment required: 3-4 hours each week.

Horse Care Team

Our biggest team! Every horse is checked twice a day to make sure that they are safe and well.

The morning shift tasks include:

  • feeding the horses that have special feeds
  • taking off any rugs worn overnight
  • applying sunscreen to the horses that need it
  • applying insect repellent to the horses that need it
  • checking the water troughs
  • checking all horses for signs of illness or injury
  • moving horses to their day paddocks when needed
  • putting fly-masks on the horses that need them
  • giving medication to the horses that need it

Afternoon shift tasks include:

  • feeding the horses their hay
  • putting on any rugs that are needed
  • checking the water troughs
  • checking all horses for signs of illness or injury
  • moving horses to their night paddocks when needed
  • taking off fly-masks from the horses that need them
  • giving medication to the horses that need it

We need a dedicated team to fill roster spaces to ensure that these tasks run like clockwork without fail. And, yep, we’ll a coordinator to manage it all. Experience with horses is preferred for these roles but not absolutely necessary as we can provide training. A minimum of two people must be present whenever anyone enters an area with horses in it for safety reasons so this will need to be quite a big team. Even if you can only commit to one morning or afternoon a week it would be so helpful.

Commitment required: 1-2 hours each week on a morning or afternoon to suit you. If you’d like to commit to more sessions, we’d love you to but even if you can only commit to one shift a week it would be super helpful.

Horse Training Team

We need our horses to be happy, healthy, calm and confident and, for most of them, this requires constant support from happy, healthy, calm and confident handlers. We use a combination of the Trust Technique and Warwick Schiller’s Training Techniques with our horses and every handler must be prepared to use the same approach so that our horses are always being asked to do the same things in the same way.  If you are already familiar with these approaches – fantastic – if not, we can provide you with all the training that you’ll need. We need both groundwork handlers and ridden work riders and you can do either or both according to your skills and preferences.   Again, a minimum of two people must be present whenever anyone enters an area with horses in it for safety reasons so this will need to be quite a large team.

Commitment required: a minimum of 2-3 hours each week at a time to suit you. If you’d like to commit to more sessions, we’d love you to but even if you can only commit to one morning or afternoon a week it would be very helpful.

Mentors

Most of the children that we support are vulnerable or at-risk in some way. They need to be around compassionate, caring and reliable people. A Mentor’s main role is to work with a child and a horse or pony to help that child develop their horsemanship skills to the best of their ability, as well as to foster a caring connection between the three of you. You are a facilitator, and as such it will be your responsibility to keep your child safe while helping them learn to draw the parallels between what they are learning with their horse and how to apply those principles to their everyday life. You will be provided with training, guidance and support.

Commitment required: A weekly commitment is generally needed. Each mentoring session is approximately two hours long and you will need to arrive at least 15 minutes early to prepare.

Greeters

Saturday is likely to be our busiest day with a number of children and parents/carers coming and going throughout the day.  Your role would be to greet parents and volunteers for each mentoring session. Gather signatures from parents for ‘sign-in’ and ensure all waiver forms are signed for every child and parent on the property. Remind Volunteers and Mentors to sign-in before and after sessions. You must enjoy greeting and welcoming people (parents, children, volunteers, and donors). We will also schedule a mid-week day for programs so if you can’t manage a weekend day but could manage a week day instead, let’s chat.

Commitment required: 3-4 hours per week in blocks of 8 weeks during the school terms.

Under 18’s Team

The Under 18’s Team are welcome to help out whenever they can, both with the day-to-day Horse Care Team tasks and on program days (usually Saturday mornings).

The tasks we need help with on program days will vary but may include tasks with the horses (grooming, washing, some basic training and handling where appropriate) and also non-horsey tasks (poo patrols, cleaning tack and feed buckets, and helping the program Mentors with any tasks they may need such as equipment set-up and pack-down).

Under 18’s who are confident and capable can help with the Horse Care Team tasks (see above) and we can find a buddy for you to make sure that two people are always present if you don’t have a parent that can be with you. Experience with horses is preferred but not absolutely necessary as we can provide training.

Commitment required: As many sessions as you can manage – but even just one a week would be helpful.

Program Development Team

We need a small team of like-minded people to work together to develop program content, worksheets for children and Mentors to use in their sessions, training materials for Mentors etc. You will ideally have a mental health qualification as well as an Equine- Assisted Learning or Equine-Assisted Therapy qualification – or be currently studying in one or both of those areas.

Commitment required: 2-3 hours per week with hours increasing when we are developing new program content and decreasing when we are settled.

Volunteer Coordinator

Last, but certainly not least, we’re going to need someone to keep track of all those volunteers! You’ll need to have great organisational skills so that you can:

  • keep a register of all current volunteers
  • track everyone’s BlueCard status and applications
  • record everyone’s hours in our database
  • track who has First Aid qualifications and who needs to renew their training
  • be a point-of-contact for any volunteer that may have questions or concerns
  • make sure that the team is happy and that their contributions are acknowledged and rewarded

Commitment required: 10 hours each week – much of which can be done from home if you’d prefer.