STAFF from audit, tax and consulting firm RSM in Gatwick downed their calculators to help out at an animal welfare centre.

Fourteen members of the team from RSM donned their overalls to volunteer at the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in Ringmer.

The Raystede Centre rescues, rehomes and provides sanctuary to more than 2000 animals each year, including donkeys, dogs, cats and hens. Its animal sanctuary also has a wildlife hospital that provides care for sick and injured animals.

The centre relies on support from volunteers, donors and corporate sponsors to enable it to carry out its work.

The RSM volunteers split up into two teams and took part in a number of activities on the day including cutting back vegetation, helping out with puppy socialising and even cleaning out the chicken coops.

The purpose of the visit was to encourage staff to learn more about the work of their charity client and to provide some extra manpower to help the charity tackle some much-needed jobs.

Zoe Longstaff-Tyrrell, an associate director who led the team from RSM, said: ‘When you are auditing charity clients, you can sometimes be quite removed from what that charity does on a day-to-day basis.

“Coming to Raystede was a great opportunity to get a better understanding of their work and to take part in some team bonding.

“Working at the centre was as far removed from our day job as it’s possible to be but it was a great experience and we would love to come back.’

Nigel Mason, the chief executive officer of Raystede, said: “We were very grateful to all the team from RSM who came to help out for the day. Cleaning out the chicken coops isn’t exactly the most glamorous job.”