Volunteering at Cats Protection centres across England, Scotland and Wales is being supported this year by players of People’s Postcode Lottery who have enabled the charity to employ Volunteer Team Leaders who unite, support and nurture volunteers at the centres.
For Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) we asked just some of our volunteers (and Volunteer Team Leaders) what a typical day in their roles is like and what they enjoy most about being part of the UK's biggest community of cat lovers.
Meet some of our Cats Protection heroes
Jess Gibson – Volunteer Team Leader at Tyneside Adoption Centre
|Jess (left) with volunteer Gabrielle and one of the kittens at the centre|
"Gabrielle arrives just in time for the morning break. Gabrielle is one of our lovely volunteers who enjoys that extra bit of support from me. We make the teas and coffees ready for the staff and volunteers to sit down and enjoy a cuppa and a cheeky biscuit together and chat about the cats.”
Jenny Gill – Cat Care Assistant at Eastbourne Adoption Centre
|Jenny with chatty cat Alfie|
John Porter – Cat Care, Driving and Gardening Volunteer at Eastbourne Adoption Centre
|John taking a break from his green-fingered volunteering|
"It’s important for the garden to look good for outdoor events such as our Summer Fayre (on 7 July – do come along between midday and 3pm). In fact it was a fayre that first got me thinking about volunteering. I’d been retired from my job as a motor mechanic for two years when I came to one of the fayres and they mentioned needing volunteers – that was three years ago and I’ve never looked back!”
Kathryn Graves – Secretary for Chiltern Branch
|Kathryn (left) with DofE volunteers Abbie and Daisy and Eddie the cat|
Adrienne Girvan – Volunteer Kitten Socialiser at Glasgow Adoption Centre
|Adrienne with Ingrid the kitten who she has helped to socialise|
Susan Anthony – Paws to Listen Volunteer
|Susan and her 'Personal Assistant' Tabitha the cat|
"A typical shift involves calls from, or call backs to, often distraught people who have suffered or are anticipating the loss of a much-loved cat. This can involve a natural death or euthanasia, an accident, the need to rehome or a missing cat. Every call is different and the emotions felt by each caller are individual, but almost all of them express gratitude for the opportunity to discuss their feelings and to be listened to by someone who understands their distress and will never judge. It can sometimes be an emotionally draining role but it is always hugely rewarding knowing that I have helped someone in pain even just a little bit.”
Tina – Shop Volunteer for Worcester Branch
|Tina helps sort the stock in the Worchester shop|
"I work in many aspects of the running of the shop, from sorting donations, taking cash and card payments on the till to completing displays in window and around the store. If you’re thinking about becoming a volunteer or are new to the area, please do pop in to see the manager. You get plenty of tea and coffee while working… always a bonus! And you will make new friends at the same time.”
If you would like to know more about volunteering for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering to find opportunities to help cats in your area.