Help at our monkey sanctuary charity in Cornwall, UK



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    We are a registered charity founded upon six decades of experience as a leader in the field of primate welfare and conservation, environmental education and sustainable practice. We are committed to protecting primates and habitats worldwide, with the protection of non-human primates at the forefront of our work.

    Our safe haven for monkeys rescued from situations of abuse and neglect is in Cornwall, UK, which has an international reputation for levels of care and innovative management techniques. We work closely with other organisations to lobby local and central government to bring about positive change for primates. We also support projects overseas with funding, practical assistance and advice and believe that education is vital in changing things for the better; educating more than 30,000 visitors and students on our work each year.

    Whilst our specialist primate caregivers are responsible for directly caring for the monkeys, we are looking for residential volunteers to come and help support us provide the very highest standards of care we take pride in.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Animal Care
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    During the summer, volunteers enjoy eating and relaxing outside in the gardens. During the winter, volunteers enjoy watching films and playing games by the fire. Up to ten short-term residential volunteers, a small number of long-term volunteers and staff live on-site so there are lots of people to talk to and a number of different languages can be learnt and practised. Our volunteers often cook communal meals and plan communal entertainment activities.

    So our volunteers can learn more about our work, we have a learning programme of talks and workshops delivered by our staff and interns. We aim to have one talk/workshop each week during the working day for our volunteers to attend so you can learn more about our monkeys, their behaviour, their care and also issues affecting primates in the wider world.

  • UK chairty

    Registered charity

    This host is a registered charity in the UK and is looking for help with their charity project. Guidance on charity worker sponsorship by a UK registered charity, can be found here.

  • Help


    Volunteers assist us in many valuable ways, including the daily cleaning of monkey enclosures (which can often take the whole morning); food bowl preparation; designing and creating enrichment items; general maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs around the sanctuary; and communicating with members of the public during our open season (February half term and from April to September). If you have a particular skill or talent that you’d like to share with us, please let us know! It is important to remember that our volunteers do not have any direct contact with the monkeys in our care.

    Our volunteers’ days begin at 8.30 am and end at 5.00 pm, with an occasional early start to prepare the monkeys’ breakfasts. Volunteers have an hour lunch break and a thirty minute afternoon break each day. Volunteers have two consecutive days off each week which they can use to rest and relax, visit the local area or plan trips to other places of interest further afield.

    A typical day begins with cleaning out the monkey enclosures for the whole morning until lunch. This involves climbing up and down ladders, climbing over and onto ropes and beams and can be very hot as we clean in full PPE (overalls, boots, gloves and mask) and the monkey huts are heated all year round. The afternoon is usually spent preparing food bowls, making enrichment and doing other jobs such as gardening, cleaning/tidying and basic site maintenance – all of which are essential to the smooth running of our sanctuary. Jobs around the sanctuary are often dependant on the season and whether we are open to the general public or not.

    Because we are a monkey sanctuary with potentially dangerous, wild animals onsite, we need our volunteers to be fluent in speaking and understanding English in case we have an emergency which requires our volunteers to follow instructions or raise the alarm to keep themselves and others safe. We also require our volunteers to have received a minimum of two doses of Covid-19 vaccine to protect the monkeys.

  • Languages spoken

    Welsh: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    The vast majority of our volunteers stay onsite with us at our sanctuary in Cornwall, for the duration of their volunteer placement with us. Accommodation is provided in a 19th Century building, which serves as our headquarters, our visitor and educational centre when we are open to the public and home to our live-in staff, interns and volunteers.

    Accommodation for up to ten volunteers at any one time is provided in two, five-bed, same sex dormitory rooms. Each of the dorms contains two sets of bunk beds and a separate single bed as well as shelving and drawer storage for volunteers’ possessions. Volunteers also have access to a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, T.V and lounge, drying room and gardens. Wi-Fi is available but please be aware that, due to our rural location, the broadband width is limited and Wi-Fi can therefore be slow. Volunteers are welcome to use an office computer after hours if needed.

    When full, the sanctuary can house up to twenty people, including staff, interns and other volunteers – our volunteers need to be prepared for a busy communal environment and the nature of living in an older building.

    To cover the costs of our volunteer programme we would like to ask for a £40 donation per week from our volunteers. We provide accommodation and food supplies for volunteers to cook their own meals.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The countryside surrounding the sanctuary is picturesque with lots of opportunities for hiking and watching nature. Our sanctuary is in a quiet, rural area with access to the coastal path nearby. If you are prepared to walk, Looe and the nearby coastal villages of Seaton and Downderry are reachable within an hour. Looe is a tourist town and fishing port and is busy with holidaymakers in the summer. Looe offers souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and walks along the coast or riverside. Boat trips are available to destinations such as Polperro (a picturesque harbour village), Fowey, Looe Island (a nature reserve) or along the River Looe. The nearest city: Plymouth, which is 20 miles away, is linked by bus and train connections to Looe and has entertainment options, such as eating out, shopping, cinemas, climbing, bowling and swimming. Other activities include visiting nearby tourist attractions such as the Eden Project and Carnglaze Caverns.

    We are a vegetarian and vegan household and ask our volunteers not to store, cook or consume any meat or fish products within the house.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 7 hours a day, 5 days a week

  • ...

    This host charges a fee

    read more
    £40 donation per week towards food costs
Host ref number: 993852482414



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