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Volunteers’ Week 2021: my FRAME volunteering experience

This week marks Volunteers’ Week 2021 – a chance to say thank you for the contribution that millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

In celebration of this, Jessie Hellier describes her journey from volunteer to Policy and Projects Intern at FRAME, and why she wanted to donate her time and skills to support our cause and vision.

By Jessie Hellier

Jessie Hellier
Jessie Hellier

I started volunteering for FRAME in October 2020. After finishing my MSc in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at the University of Glasgow, I wanted to continue working towards something in this area – particularly as we were still in lockdown in the UK, and I’d found myself at a bit of a loss after finishing 12 straight months of university work.

My university research project looked at legislation that aims to protect laboratory animals across a range of countries, and laboratory animal welfare is something I’m really passionate about. I had heard of FRAME before and knew I shared similar values and aims, in terms of wanting to work towards ending the use of animals in research.

With the spare time that I now found myself with, I wanted to do something that would be rewarding, and by choosing to volunteer for FRAME, I knew I could apply my knowledge and skills in the important field of animal alternatives.

I contacted FRAME and had a chat with both Amy and Celean to find out what tasks I could complete with the time and skills I had available. The main task I worked on whilst volunteering was researching alumni from the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory (FAL) – compiling a list of past students and any published papers from the lab to evaluate the impact the lab has had. This was a really interesting task, and it was great to have an overview of all the projects that had been completed over the years and see the progress in the work being done to develop alternative methods to animal research.

The team at FRAME was very grateful that I had chosen to spend time volunteering with FRAME, and I was equally grateful for the opportunity to expand my skills and knowledge whilst supporting such an important cause.

Policy and Projects Intern

I am now working as a Policy and Projects Intern at FRAME. Volunteering with FRAME helped massively when I started the internship. When the internship was first mentioned to me, I jumped at the chance to apply, not only because policy surrounding laboratory animal use is an area I have a specific interest in, but because I was also so keen to continue to work with FRAME.

I’m now in a position where I can utilise my specific knowledge on this topic and showcase the skills I gained from my degrees, whilst working for a fantastic charity which is providing me with a whole new skillset that I can use throughout my future career in this field.

I would recommend volunteering with FRAME to anyone who is passionate about replacing animals in medical research – it is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Volunteer at FRAME

As a small charity, we are fortunate to have collaborators and experts across many fields volunteering their time and expertise for us, and we are keen to hear from anyone who wishes to be involved. There are many ways you can volunteer for FRAME; if you are interested in donating your time or skills then please click here or get in touch with us via: hello@frame.org.uk

We currently have a vacancy for a Fundraising Volunteer. Download the Fundraising Volunteer FRAME brief for more information on the role and how to apply.

We are very grateful for the time, energy, expertise and goodwill of those who volunteer for FRAME.

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