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Account of an Action Against Foxhunting Volunteer

I have always loved animals and nature and wanted to get involved in protecting them against the many people who want to harm them.

I joined sab groups and offered my help but didn’t get a response and at 64 I am not that fit to be running around fields.  Then I found ‘Action Against Foxhunting’ and joined.  I didn’t get involved at first, I was a bit hesitant, I thought I might get ‘put upon’ and be expected to join in events that I didn’t feel comfortable with, and I wondered if I would fit in with the group.  I didn’t know if I could stand on a street and talk convincingly with people who may have a different view about fox hunting, so for quite a while I followed their Facebook page and thought about it.

I read their website and liked what they were about.  I realised that if I felt passionately about hunting then I shouldn’t be leaving it to someone else to be active, I needed to get active myself.

The first time I joined in with an event was ‘Taunton Outreach 2021’.  I felt a little awkward as I didn’t know what to do and wasn’t sure if I had enough knowledge about the subject to hold a discussion with people who support foxhunting.  The two other members were very supportive and I learned a great deal by listening and watching how they worked.  On each event after that, I was given advice on how to answer questions from the public and how to find the information, If I found myself unable to answer a question or found myself backed into a corner, the other members helped me out, and learned a lesson for the next time.

Online training and meetings have been invaluable and gave me the tools and confidence to be an active member.  Other members in the group are always on hand to give advice or support, you just have to ask them.  They are a great group of really friendly approachable, supportive people, all with the same aim and a love of foxes.

When I first joined the group, my confidence and self-belief were pretty low. I have always been a shy person, but having been with AAF for two years now, the group has helped me in pushing through my comfort zones a little at a time. I can honestly say that I am a different person now, I feel happier and valued, I have confidence, ability to speak to anybody. I have even stood up in a Parish
Council meeting and spoken (amazing for me).

You can get involved as much as you like, if you have a few hours here and there or if you want to be more involved, there are roles for everyone, no matter how much or how little time you have to spare, as an active member you will be a very valued member of the group.

I strongly advise anybody who is thinking that they are not quite ready to take the step and get actively involved, that if you do, you won’t just be helping our wildlife, you will be helping yourself.

Alyson Rogers, Somerset Coordinator 23 March 2022