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Volunteer at Paignton Zoo

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Volunteer with us

If you are looking for a new interest or a chance to meet new people and support an education, scientific and conservation charity then come and be part of our team of volunteers at Paignton Zoo.

Support our charity

By volunteering at Paignton Zoo, you will be supporting our education, scientific and conservation work.

Support our charitable organisation and staff by helping our visitors enjoy their day and providing excellent customer service whilst, amongst many other things, learning new skills, meeting new people and passing on their knowledge and experience.

Please note: Our volunteer roles are for those people who are able to support the zoo every week on a regular duty day.

To see our current volunteer opportunities, please click the link below


Volunteering with us

As a charity, volunteers provide vital support to the life of Paignton Zoo. They do not take the place of paid staff but contribute to our success by supporting our education, scientific and conservation mission whilst enhancing the guest experience and assisting us to raise awareness of, and funds for, animal and habitat conservation projects locally and all over the world. 

Every year our volunteers provide thousands of hours between them to support the work of Paignton Zoo. We have over 130 volunteers who support us on a regular day every week; without our volunteers we would not be able to offer the activities, events and all-round excellent guest experience that we do. 

As such, we are looking for people who can lend a hand regularly. Our volunteer roles would suit outgoing individuals who enjoy interacting with the public, being outdoors and who have an interest in the natural world. As our volunteers are a huge support to, and part of the Paignton Zoo team we value reliability and good communication skills. 

What’s in it for you? 

  • Help an education, scientific and conservation charity 
  • Give something back to your local community 
  • Gain valuable knowledge, experience and confidence 
  • Improve your CV 
  • Stay active 
  • Meet and socialise with new and like-minded people 
  • Get access to Paignton Zoo and regular volunteer updates. 
  • Receive full training for your volunteer role 
  • Receive uniform and name badge. 


How old do I need to be to volunteer?

You need to be 18 or over as we require you to be able to volunteer unsupervised and independently. There is no upper age limit. 

We do though accept younger volunteers – between the ages of 14 to 18 years – for the Events Team Meet and Greet School Holiday Support Volunteer role. This will only be shown in the list of currently available volunteer roles below when opportunities are available. 

How do I register my interest?

Please click here to see our current vacancies.

What is the recruitment process?

As we have a limited number of opportunities, we endeavour to find people most suited to volunteering. This decision is based initially on the information you provide on the interest form and then through an informal discussion with shortlisted potential volunteers. Due to the number of interest forms received, we will only contact you if you are shortlisted. 

If you are successful in becoming a volunteer, we will ask for two references before you are able to start. We will also ask you bring along your passport and your National Insurance card or number with you to your induction meeting.  

Do you require a DBS check?

A DBS check may be necessary for some volunteer roles. You would be advised of this as a part of the volunteer induction process.

Will I be volunteering with the animals?

Volunteers do not have hands-on contact with zoo animals, unless stated, but you will be volunteering in an environment where the animals are all around you. 

Do you cover my travel expenses?

We do not reimburse travel expenses – please register your interest only if you live within easy travelling distance of the zoo. Our shortlisting takes into account the distance that you would have to undertake on a regular basis in order for you to carry out your volunteering. 

Do you offer work experience, placements or short-term volunteering?

Volunteering is not the same as work experience and we cannot support you with work experience through your volunteering with us.

We are currently unable to support work experience in the majority of departments due to our health and safety policies.

Due to the time and costs involved, we are unable to support short-term volunteering.