(A SPACE FOR COMPASSION FATIGUE)
Grab a beverage, get cozy and bring some stories to share.
[NEXT SESSION TBA]
Losing casualties is inevitable (or dealing with members of the public or cruelty cases that upset you) but each one can leave a mark.
Stored up stress and feeling like you are battling alone and without anyone to share the struggle with isn’t good for you or the animals you care for.
Booking in advance please (first come, first served) with a waiting list for last minute cancellations.
[If these turn out to be popular, we will increase the number of events for more people to access them]
The event (which is free for Animal/Bird/Amphibean etc Rescues & Sanctuaries and Vets & RVNs who work in ANY kind of Practice/Rescue/Sanctuary) would be structured thus…
A warm, respectful online space (on Zoom - a link will be shared with everyone on the day) where everyone gets a few turns to share recent experiences - run by an experienced coach, J. Ayres.
I was recently one of the attendees at the Rescue Relief meeting to help with compassion fatigue. I wasn’t sure what to expect - maybe a presentation of some sort? It wasn’t like that at all. It was a safe space for us to share our experiences, to get them out in the open and to be heard. Listening to others also helped me realise I’m not alone. There’s nothing wrong with me because I sometimes struggle with the emotional burden of what we do. I’m pleased I joined in and would encourage others to do the same.
Gemma B - Veterinary Surgeon
Managed to join in with the recent one and am glad I put aside some time to do this. Being able to offload my feelings (either negative ones or positive ones) in a safe and private space gave me a 'positive' feeling by the end of the session. Thank you Alana Hurd and Jem for taking time out of your own busy lives to do this for us.
Also quietly listening to other rehabbers share their experiences/frustrations proved that 'I am not alone' in this crazy world of wildlife rehabbing. We all go through periods of ups and downs, but it’s the downs that stay in our memories and hearts because we put so much of ourselves into the animals we care for. Remembering to care for ourselves is just as important.
Irene T - Hedgehog Rehabber
Just wanted to share my experience from last session in case anyone was apprehensive!
Alana mentioned the idea of Rescue Relief a few weeks ago and I thought it sounded great! We all have gripes and I thought it'd be good to talk it through with other like minded people. As the event got closer more thoughts of 'yeah i'm absolutely not attending this' entered my head along with 'i won't have anything to say' and 'it won't help anyway'. More out of obligation to the promise I made Alana than anything else, I attended. And I am SO pleased I did! Jem is absolutely lovely and holds the room really well. I had FAR more to say than I thought and it actually prompted a few things that I didn't realise were bothering me. I was worried that if I let out my concerns I would feel really down and it would make things worse. However, I found it incredibly freeing to talk openly about my concerns and gripes and not have anyone try and 'fix' my problems. I was able to say how I truly felt without anyone saying 'but you're doing a good job' or 'but these things happen'. My thoughts were acknowledged and accepted by everyone. I felt heard and I'm so pleased I went. I'm already looking forward to session two and feel like it'll really help long term.
See you all there!
- Lucy S - Wild Things Rescue
I joined the Rescue Relief meeting for the first time and it was great. Listening to the frustrations and positive experiences of other rescuers. Some things that came up are experienced by all of us but it is interesting how different rescues work differently. This is an opportunity to pick up ideas. The host Jem made the meeting relaxed and got us all chilled before we all got the opportunity to talk. And of course Alana Hurd had organised a well structured meeting. Both made everyone feel they could contribute and quietly listen to others. It was nice to put faces to names too.
Kathleen LB - Hedgehog Rehabber
Thank you Alana for arranging the Rescue Relief and thank you to everyone who came and listened. Just a few thoughts...
In the business of rescue we are often alone, even when surrounded by volunteers we can feel alone because the buck stops here. The pressure is enormous, we help bring life in and we see it when it goes out again. We beat ourselves up even when we know we couldn't have changed an outcome but we can't help but run the what ifs. We work at high speed making life changing choices for those who can't voice their medical background, say their preferences nor say thanks and we often do that to our own detriment. Yet each day we return to the coalface because the successes keep us hooked and without us they have no one. Finders vent their grief at us, vent their frustration at us and vent their whole life stories sometimes.
Rescue Relief is a place to vent your solidarity with others doing the same thing, finding the same thing, living the same thing but this wasn't a place of whinging this was a place of winning. Rescue Relief makes you feel relieved, a little safe space, a little peaceful moment when you realise you've been saving everyone else but you probably should save you too.
Stephanie K - Hedgehog Rehabber