Volunteer FAQs

Q: How old do I have to be to volunteer?

A: The minimum age for almost all of our volunteer roles is 18, which is set by Zoo Policy and unfortunately has no flexibility. The only roles with a lower age requirement are our Keeper Volunteer roles (with the exception of mammals) which have a minimum age requirement of 16.

Q: Do you have any vacancies at the moment?

A: We cannot advise as to what vacancies we currently have so please apply for the role/s in which you’re interested.

Q: Do I need qualifications to become a volunteer?

A: No, but the more relevant experience and qualifications, and perhaps most importantly, enthusiasm you have the better.

Q: If I volunteer will this lead to a job at the Zoo?

A: The experience gained through volunteering will help when it comes to applying for jobs and for interviews. But you would still have to apply and compete for any job.

Q: How long do I need to volunteer for?

A: We would like a minimum of six months for volunteering on animal sections and ideally a minimum of six months on all other sections but this is negotiable.

Q: Do you pay travel expenses?

A: No.

Q: Do you have anywhere for me to stay when I volunteer?

A: We cannot provide accommodation or expenses for accommodation.  We expect you to be living in Bristol or the surrounding area if you wish to volunteer.

Q: I work shifts. Can I volunteer on different days each week?

A: We’re afraid not.  We have a rota system for most sections and it needs to be the same day each week to make the rotas work.

Q: I am interested in more than one section; can I volunteer as an (for example) Engagement Volunteer and Mammals Keeper Volunteer?

A: It is possible to volunteer on two sections but you will need to state this on your application form so we know that you would like to commit more than one day a week to the zoo.

Q: Once I start my volunteering with a section, can I then move to another section?

A: We try to keep our application process as fair and unbiased as possible and so we do ask that current volunteers go through the same application process for roles as everyone else. Therefore, it may be possible to change roles but you would have the same chance at getting a new role as anyone else who applies.

Q: I am currently unable to commit to volunteering but I will be available to volunteer in the future, when should I apply?

A: Please only apply for volunteer roles up to one month before you are available to volunteer.

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