Meet the Hopefield Staff: Sophie our Office Manager

Meet Sophie, our awesome Office Manager, who keeps the admin side of the sanctuary in shape and who we’d be lost without…

If you’re a supporter of Hopefield Animal Sanctuary then the chances are you are already quite familiar with our rescued residents. You might not, however, be so in the know when it comes to the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to provide everything and more that our animals need on a daily basis. As such, we’ve decided to launch a new series of blogs to shine a spotlight on ALL our Hopefield humans in the coming weeks and months, starting with our amazing Office Manager, Sophie.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

If I’m completely honest, that feels like a lifetime ago and I can’t remember exactly, but I know there were a few ideas… doctor, vet, marine biologist… a bit different from Office Manager (albeit working with animals to some extent!). 

How did you find out about Hopefield Animal Sanctuary?

Pure coincidence! Considering I only live two minutes away and the sanctuary is almost in my back garden, I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. It was only when I was seeking alternative employment that it popped up and I thought it sounded perfect. 

What was your first role at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary?

I started as an Office Assistant back in February 2018. 

Tell us about your role as Office Manager of Hopefield, and what a day in the life of Sophie generally looks like…

Hopefield Staff where to see animals in Essex

One of the best things about working at the sanctuary is that no two days are the same. I get to work at 9am, usually greeted by Pancake, Marmalade and Roo the dogs. Then I’ll log on and catch up on emails that have come in overnight, whilst having a natter with my partner in crime, Tracy. Next, I’ll crack on with various tasks including sorting our accounts, paying invoices, updating our website, making up and sending out sponsorship packs… you name it, I probably do it! Sometimes (if the weather holds out) I like to finish my day with having a wander round and seeing the animals – it really is a blessing to be surrounded by them, especially if you’re having a bad day and need to remind yourself of why you do what you do. 

What have been your highlight/s of working for Hopefield Animal Sanctuary?

Hopefield staff where to see animals in Essex

Getting to watch animals flourish after coming from awful backgrounds is amazing. Blu, the mastiff-bully cross that we recently took in was in an awful state when she first arrived. Seeing the picture that was circulating of her on the internet, skin and bones, tied to a bench in a park was shocking, but seeing the progress she’s made first-hand, especially with how she trusts humans now is brilliant. You honestly wouldn’t believe she’s the same dog. 

Becoming a bunny-mum to my two beautiful boys, Peter & Benjamin. They were found dumped in a box and were brought to the sanctuary in April 2021, and due to a shortage in space at the sanctuary, I offered to take them home and foster them temporarily. Of course, I fell head over heels in love with them, and over the coming weeks, my parents (with a bit of help from me!) worked tirelessly to build them an enclosure so that I could offer them a forever home. They’re such sweet little bunnies, and I’m so happy they found their way into my life.

Hopefield staff where to see animals in Essex

I also love getting to organise the Vegan & Wellness Day, which is happening for the 3rd year in a row in June. It’s such a lovely event, with so many like-minded, animal-loving people in one place, and I’m proud of the reputation it’s getting, and how much it grows each year!

What have been some of the more notable challenges of working for Hopefield Animal Sanctuary?

Being the person at the end of the phone / emails when people get in touch looking to re-home animals for whatever reason, whether they’re pets that can no longer be cared for, they’ve been dumped somewhere and need a new home ASAP. As much as we all wish we could save every single animal that we’re asked to take, that just isn’t realistic and we don’t have an infinite amount of space or funding. Having to say no can be truly heartbreaking, and there’s been days where I’ve been in tears to my partner. 

Do you have a favourite animal at the sanctuary?

I know you shouldn’t have favourites (and it’s very hard given how many incredible animals we’re home to) but it would be a close call between the Lion King bunnies as I fostered them for a short period of time and they were super cute, or the cows. 

Has there been a particular case that has really affected you during your time at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary?

Hopefield staff where to see animals in Essex

In 2022, we rescued a tiny lamb called Bruno, who spent a number of weeks in the office with me where it was nice and warm. I would bottle feed him throughout the day, and I became really attached to him – he was like my shadow. I’d walk from one end of the office to the other and he’d run along behind me, he was absolutely adorable. Sadly, he became ill very suddenly and unexpectedly, and we lost him which was devastating. 

I also struggle with the sheer amount of animals that we’re asked to re-home, knowing that so many rescues and sanctuaries are running at full capacity, much like us, and it makes you wonder where these poor babies are going to end up. 

Tell us 3 things about you that might surprise people…


    • Okay, well, I fractured and dislocated my ankle getting off a fairground ride! It was just one week before my 18th birthday which wasn’t ideal!


    • I’m a die-hard One Direction fan and have been since I was 14 (I am 27 now!)


    • I’ve never read or watched Harry Potter.


What do you see Hopefield looking like in 5 years time?

That’s a hard one – I would like to think that we’ll continue to grow and save even more animals in need. We’ve got a lot of exciting projects that we’re working on behind-the-scenes, and I can’t wait to see them in action once everything is ready! It would be great to have another site one day, in a different area, because there’s only so many animals we can take on our existing premises. 


Thank you, Sophie! And check back soon for our next staff interview which is going to be – drumroll, please – our CEO, Dave!



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