Volunteers are the heart & soul of Circle A! We welcome anyone who has an interest in working with horses, no matter their experience level, to join our dedicated family. Our volunteers perform every facet of care for our rescue horses (feeding, mucking, dropping hay, grooming, etc.), and they can participate in our Angel Program, fundraising events, farm maintenance, and more. We have a role for everyone!
We have an amazing team of Volunteer Coordinators who will assist you every step of the way. From your initial orientation to completing your Volunteer Circle tiers, our team members will be by your side. All volunteers must complete a scheduled orientation. Once we receive your electronic volunteer sign-up (see bottom of page), a member of our team will be reaching out to you with regards to scheduling your orientation.
At first, you will be escorted by another person at all times and will assist in whatever area you have chosen. Once you are more comfortable and have learned “the ropes”, you will be given more responsibility.
You have learned about the workings of the farm and are able to answer questions and assist other people. You can now work on your own with direction from one of the staff or a more experienced volunteer.
You are considered accomplished and have learned about all aspects of the farm. You are now in a position to mentor new volunteers.
No, we are happy to welcome all levels of experience to our volunteer program, from brand new to seasoned expert! We will train, assess and work with you throughout your volunteer program to ensure you are gaining the experience needed, as well as, fostering your areas of interest.
As often as you’d like! Horses thrive on routine and so do we! Volunteers who are able to commit to a set schedule will be the most successful at aiding our mission, providing consistent care for the rescue horses and gaining the most experience. The more time you spend with the horses, the quicker your confidence and understanding of these magnificent animals will grow. We do require volunteers in the “Red Circle–Novice” to be accompanied by a more seasoned volunteer/staff member while on-site.
We kindly ask for a commitment of at least 8 or more hours per month. Our volunteer leaders can guide you on an individual basis regarding what hours/schedule might best match your availability to the needs of the rescue. A minimum of 60 hours as a volunteer are required to be completed before consideration for our Angel Program.
Anyone age 14 and above is welcome to volunteer with Circle A. Volunteers between ages 14 and 17 will need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian for orientation and depending on previous horse experience, staff will discuss the release waiver with the parent/guardian that would allow the minor to volunteer autonomously without the parent/guardian present.
Volunteers can report to the rescue anytime between 8am and 12pm to assist with morning shift activities and/or 2pm-6pm to assist with evening shift activities, 7 days a week. “Red Circle-Novice” volunteers need to ensure they will have a mentor on-site with them when reporting for their shift (a volunteer coordinator will assist with this).
Your orientation will start at the meeting point at the main gate. You will proceed to the main barn where you will have introductions, review of safety protocols, signing of liability waiver and participation in a general tour of the farm. You will be accompanied by an orientation coordinator throughout your visit. You are not permitted to separate from your group until your orientation is complete and you have been signed-off to do so by your orientation coordinator.
Orientations are conducted periodically and are weather dependent. We typically schedule an orientation every 4-6 weeks depending on the number of volunteer sign-ups we receive in between orientations.
You can plan to spend between 1.5 to 2 hours on the farm
for your initial volunteer orientation.
A few items to consider bringing: bottled water, snack, an extra change of clothes & socks (okay to leave in your car), sunscreen, hat. Please note all food/drink brought to the farm must be labeled and stored in the tack room/fridge so the horses cannot gain access to human food.
Please dress according to the weather. Jeans/heavy duty pants are highly recommended. Warm jackets in the winter, and don't forget sunscreen in the summer. Avoid perfumes-the scent may attract bugs. Boots: rain boots/work boots/riding boots, any sturdy footwear that covers the entire foot and you don't mind them getting muddy. Just keep in mind, having some form of waterproofing for your feet will be very useful. At this time, masks are required due to Covid-19 guidelines.
Upon arriving to the farm, visitors are to park on the left side of the driveway only in the designated gravel parking area. There is additional parking at Barn 2. This will be shown/discussed during your orientation.
Circle A Home for Horses
4345 Charity Neck Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23457, us
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