Interview with a new Bolton/Radcliffe Cats Protection Volunteer

Interview with a new volunteer at Bolton and Radcliffe Cats Protection.

Why did you decide to become a volunteer with an animal charity?

I love cats and other animals and I know that many are not as lucky as they should be. I enjoy looking after my own pets but I felt I wanted to do more. To adopt another cat would have been one option,but that only helps that one animal. I also wanted to meet new people and learn new skills.

Why did you choose Bolton and Radcliffe Cats Protection?

When my daughter brought a stray cat home a couple of years ago, I approached Bolton andRadcliffe Cats Protection for help with neutering . The initial outlay was more than I could manageand I wanted to look after our latest addition responsibly. I was offered help through a neutering voucher and some good advice on looking after the cat. She had recently had kittens and I was a bitworried about her health. When I needed help to take on a cat which was down on its luck, CatsProtection were there to back me up with financial support and expert advice. They made a bigdifference and I was grateful for that.

I knew one of the existing volunteers and she talked to me about the challenges the charity faces every day and the stories of cats needing help. She invited me to follow their Facebook page and this kept me interested.

When I made contact I was pleased to hear that I did not need to make a large commitment and that any help was appreciated. This flexibility suited me.

What do you enjoy about volunteering here?

I wasn’t really expecting this when I first made contact, but Bolton and Radcliffe Cats Protection is part of a national charity and this brings a lot of resources for new volunteers. I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the online courses about cat care and feline behaviour. They are flexible so they fit in with working full-time and the materials and videos are very professional.

Within the work we do, we also have this high-quality backup : access to veterinary advice, IT support and promotional materials to help with advertising cats and events.

Being part of a new community of like-minded people in Bolton and meeting other volunteers inregional events has presented me with a new challenge, which I always enjoy.

But at the end of the day I am working to improve the life of cats having a hard time and that is the best thing about volunteering at Bolton and Radcliffe Cats Protection. Some of the work is not fancy, like trapping, arranging neutering and returning feral cats. The training gives you the understanding that this makes a massive difference to the health and life of the animal. Helping other people look after their own cats or taking on a stray is also very rewarding. With more and more cats living as strays in the community, offering veterinary care and neutering and helping people set up outdoor living spaces for them is an effective way of improving their lives.

What are you looking forward to?

I hope to foster cats in the future. This will give me the opportunity to make a difference on a dailybasis in a hands-on role. I can also share this experience with my children.

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a Cats Protection Volunteer?

I would say go for it! There is absolutely nothing to lose and the time you can offer is always appreciated. However much or little. Different roles fit in with different lifestyles and as we are a small branch, you can get involved in more than one area. The best thing is you can help cats find alovely home or improve their health and circumstances.