Volunteering with us, a personal experience.

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This weeks blog is written by our previous live-in volunteer

Tim, our live-in volunteer, was part of the Finca family for 3 months which included a stay during lockdown. Tim is very well travelled and we all thoroughly enjoyed hearing his stories from various places around the world. So we were very honoured when he choose to stay longer with us. Tim is a hypnotherapist by profession, something that many of us at the finca benefitted from with his time here. Tim Stoneman hypnotherapy

Below you can read about his experience as a live-in volunteer. We miss having Tim as part of the day to day finca volunteers. However, we are very glad that he got the bug of Tenerife and decided to stay. This way we still get to make the most of his organisation skills every now and again!

I was lucky enough to be at Tenerife Horse Rescue throughout Spain’s coronavirus lockdown. It would have been a great experience anytime. But to be there with all the amazing animals while rest of the world went crazy was a true blessing. The current live-in volunteer team seems to have increased fun. Beach visits, island tours, etc, but the sense of togetherness and entertainment we created during the spring was very special. I’ve volunteered at a variety of places all over the world, including an elephant project in the Okavango Delta. But Tenerife Horse Rescue was honestly the best yet. There’s a sense of camaraderie that comes naturally with this place. Everyone works so hard yet does so with such a sense of fun and positivity. The time flies by. Perhaps it’s because the positive results of the work are so obvious. As the finca grows every day and as ever more animals arrive and become visibly healthier day-by-day. Whatever the reason it’s impossible not to feel uplifted here.

A true community

In addition to dozen volunteers there’s a regular stream of riders who come by to pet, feed and ride horses. You’ll always smile seeing the kindness and Love shown to these animals who need it so much. In seven months since I first came four horses have departed to new homes and six new ones have arrived. It shows the huge value of Emma and Edo’s work. Not just in rescuing neglected animals who would otherwise have died. But also in consistently finding new homes for them so that other animals in need can find their haven. I lose count of the number of puppies and kittens they’ve rescued and rehomed during this time. Most of the volunteers seem to have a favourite horse, favourite dog, etc, but I found it impossible to choose. When I visit, a must-do is to enter ‘run’ where the leukaemia cats live and spend some time with them. All three are complete sweethearts and they’re so happy for the attention and strokes. It’s guaranteed relaxation for all involved.

Variety of skills amongst the volunteers

On a personal level it was a great place to be a live-in volunteer. Mostly because, unlike many of the volunteers, I don’t have any particular skills. Many of the volunteers do; electrical, plumbing, welding, tiling etc… but Edo and Emma would always find something to do that fitted. Be it helping one of the more skilled workmen, or something purely physical. Either an organisational job, or something else that contributed to the continued growth of the finca. You always feel useful, and if you get stuck in you’ll inevitably learn some new skills while there.

Life long friends

After nearly 5 months away I still visit most weeks. It’s great to meet the new arrivals and see old friends, human and animal – continuing to do well. It’s extra-pleasing to see the projects that we did many months ago coming to fruition. New gardens, reed ponds etc really coming into their own. Probably the biggest difference over the last 5 months is the accommodation. Which is almost ready (notwithstanding paperwork), and which will make an incredible difference to the whole centre. Once they get the two rented houses out they’ll have a regular stream of income to dedicate to their rescues.

A valuable lesson

Perhaps the biggest thing I learned from volunteering at Tenerife Horse Rescue is around ‘better sustainable living’. Of course I knew western society was hugely wasteful and obsessed with consumerism. But I never realised just how much material we waste or how useful the things people throw away can be. At THR they do an amazing job of being green and eco, reusing and repurposing things that others throw away. They’ve built an entire horse and rescue centre with 300 animals using nothing more than what they find lying around. It’s incredible, and really demonstrates a better way to live. If only we could get the rest of humanity to see things the way they do. That would make a world a better place.
It’s impossible to say how long I’ll be on Tenerife, but however long it lasts I'll visit THRt regularly. And wherever the paths of life take us Emma and Edo are both forever friends.

" I’ve volunteered at a variety of places all over the world, including an elephant project in the Okavango Delta, but Tenerife Horse Rescue was honestly the best yet."

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  1. Jan Stoneman says:

    Having visited the finca recently, I can really appreciate the work that is being done. Not just a valuable animal rescue but truly amazing place & team.

  2. Debbie Emery says:

    Hoping to help you guys out when lockdown is relaxed. Is that a possibility?

    • Tenerife Horse Rescue says:

      When lockdown is more relaxed we are open from Monday to Friday from 9am-2pm.

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