A dog being walked down a path with dog kennels to the right

Trainee placements and work experience

We involve volunteers on a variety of placements at Blue Cross.

We're here for those looking to:

Best of all – you’ll know your time is going towards helping the many sick and homeless pets in our care.

Work experience

We offer work experience placements in lots of different areas within our charity, from charity shops to rehoming centres.

We welcome applications from:

  • schools
  • those studying an animal related course in college

These roles are advertised on our website alongside our other volunteer opportunities and you can add in the dates you are available when applying. If there’s nothing of interest right now, keep checking back as new opportunities are added regularly.

Extra-mural studies (EMS) and veterinary nurse placements

We do offer EMS placement but, due to high demand, we can only offer placements to students in their fourth and fifth year of their course. We can also sometimes offer placements to those training to be a veterinary nurse.

We have three animal hospitals that can offer placements in the UK:

  • Grimsby
  • Hammersmith
  • Merton

To apply for an EMS or veterinary nurse placement, the best route is to check with your learning provider in the first instance. We have existing relationships with colleges local to our hospitals, so your learning provider can let you know what processes to follow to make an application.

Veterinary graduate placements

We offer a fantastic graduate development programme for talented and hardworking graduate vets.

It will provide you with many excellent opportunities to advance your skills in small animal medicine and surgery in a friendly and professional hospital environment.

So, if you're passionate about helping pets in need, then this might be perfect for you.

Placement length: 18 months

Location: At our well-equipped Grimsby and London hospitals

To apply for a veterinary graduate placement, take a look at our job vacancies page. You can sign up for job alerts if there are no suitable positions available right now. 

Job centre placements

We’re happy to take volunteer applications from those looking for work experience and have been referred by their local job centre.

We can only accommodate those who are on a voluntary placement and can’t accept anyone who is signed up for a mandatory work placement, eg you risk your benefits being stopped if you don’t complete the placement.

Browse our opportunities today

Community service order

We can sometimes provide opportunities to those looking to complete their community service order. Our shops have the most placements on offer, but we can also sometimes accommodate people in our rehoming centres, depending on location.

Normally you’ll need to get the person who coordinates this for you to get in touch with us to check availability and to arrange the details.

What's the minimum age for placements?

It's always best to check our role descriptions as the age limit can change depending on the type of volunteer roles available and health and safety requirements at the location. For instance, our charity shops can offer placements from the age of 14. But the minimum age for volunteers at our animal hospitals is 18 years old.

Find your nearest Blue Cross

If you need to find your closest Blue Cross location, just visit our find us page where you can search for this.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the role you can find more details on our website – each role has a description available to view with more details.

For any specific questions just email us.