Episode from the podcastThe Meaningful Life with Andrew G. Marshall

Ep7. Charlotte Fielder - Dogs and Volunteering, and how they change your life

Released Monday, 23rd November 2020
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So much of the meaning we find in life comes from reaching out to help others. Charlotte Fielder has been the Head of Volunteering and Fostering at London’s famous Battersea Dogs and Cats Home since 2015. She finds intense meaning in giving animals a second chance and supporting the Battersea volunteers who work for love, not money. 

Charlotte is herself a failed foster carer after rehoming Max in August 2017. Dogs have been an enormous part of her life, and she talks with Andrew about the magic of dogs in family relationships and the joy and meaning they bring to individuals. 

Charlotte has also worked extensively to support children with upper limb difference. She is a patron of EDRIC (The European Dysmelia Reference Information Centre) a not for profit organisation that shares knowledge with those affected by congenital limb loss. She is also the author of ‘Shared Experiences,’ a resource for the families of these children.

Charlotte worked for 33 years in UK Government agencies including the Home Office and National Criminal Intelligence Service before leaving to work in volunteer services at a hospice. Her desire was to spend the last ten years of her working life making a difference, and when she arrived in Battersea in 2015 she felt she was “coming home”. 

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From The Podcast

Hello, I am a marital therapist, communications trainer and author. I have thirty-five years helping couples and individuals make better relationships. I have written twenty-plus self-help books which include the international best-sellers ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’ and ‘How can I ever trust you again?’ My books have been translated into twenty languages. I trained with RELATE the UK’s largest counselling charity. Perhaps it has been turning sixty but I have become interested in spiritual as well as psychological questions. Who am I? What are my values – as opposed to my parents, my teachers and the wider society? What makes my life meaningful? What do I believe about life, the universe and everything? Although my clients might come to me because of destructive arguments, falling out of love and infidelity, they are also interested in having more meaningful relationships and a more meaningful life. So what is the meaningful life? Why do we so easily lose our way and get lost in depression, anxiety, doubt, addictions and obsessions: the swamplands of the soul? One thing I know for sure is that there is not one answer. Each of us has to find out for ourselves what makes our life meaningful. But we can learn from each other, share our experiences of how to navigate the journey, how to endure and learn from the swamp, and finally how to find solid ground. I have decided to use my original training in radio and journalism to interview witnesses for what makes life meaningful. Each week, I invite someone who is a therapist, academic, self-help coach or who has an enlightening personal story to share their knowledge or experiences. I hope our discussions will help you discover what makes your life meaningful and find more purpose and contentment.

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