London Zoo is calling for an army of volunteers to help it back on its feet during the biggest challenge faced in its history.
The zoo has been appealing for funds after being forced to close for three months due to coronavirus. A campaign fronted by Sir David Attenborough has prompted thousands to donate to save the zoo.
Now the zoo is extending its appeal to Londoners who can spare time to help out at the zoo – with a special focus on people still furloughed and students forced to cancel gap year travel plans.
Volunteer Manager Rhiannon Green explains: “We are delighted to have the zoo open again, but we are facing operational challenges that are new to us. We know from the heart-warming response to our fundraising appeal that people really want to help us.
“For some people sparing time might be how they can help us best – especially those on furlough, or whose travel plans have been disrupted.”
Those interested in volunteering are asked to commit to a minimum of half a day each fortnight, helping to assist zoo visitors as they make their way around the zoo via three new one-way trails.
Rhiannon added: “We need cheery, flexible people who can help visitors enjoy their day while respecting the measures that keep everyone safe.
“In return they will gain experience working in a team, hone their customer service skills, learn about wildlife and have the chance to experience first-hand the leisure and tourism sector in a post-lockdown world. That could be especially useful to anyone furloughed from the hospitality industry.”
Anyone who can spare the time to help the zoo through these challenging times can visit www.zsl.org/volunteering to register their interest, with posts available at both London and Whipsnade Zoos.