Katharine Wootton

Help cats this Volunteers' Week

Katharine Wootton

Are you cat lover? Looking for a new project? 

Well, the national charity, Cats Protection, are on the hunt for more feline fanatics to join their team of volunteers this Volunteers' Week (June 1-7). 

Whether you have one hour a week to spare or lots more, they're hoping to attract more volunteers, not just to help directly caring for the cats but in all sorts of roles, from doing a spot of gardening at the Cats Protection centres to running websites.

The charity, which celebrates its 90th birthday this year has over 250 volunteer-run branches, 100 shops and many other volunteer groups and teams, meaning more hands on deck are always needed - and much appreciated. 

One couple who did just that are John and Fay Cardwell who became volunteers for the Cats Protection four years ago after adopting their own moggy, 'One Eyed' Jack, from their local Belfast Adoption Centre. They now work in the centre's garden making it attractive for visitors. 

 Fay and John love helping out in the Adoption Centre's garden

Fay and John love helping out in the Adoption Centre's garden

"In a similar way to the fact we don't choose a cat, a cat chooses us, I think somehow Cats Protection chose us as the place we wanted to volunteer with. 

"When we volunteer, we arrive at the centre mid-morning and help with watering, dead-heading, replanting and doing whatever needs attention. Nearly all of our days at Cats Protection then finish with us giving the late afternoon feed to the cats who live in the feral garden. It's the highlight of my week!" says John. 

 It's a perfect job for those who love cat cuddles!

It's a perfect job for those who love cat cuddles!

"We obviously love cats but even more so since being at Cats Protection. We have a much better understanding of cats now than when we started. We also get to spend time with cats that have often been on the receiving end of the worst of human nature and it gives us the chance to try show the cats that not all humans are bad. 

"I'd recommend to anyone to volunteers with Cats Protection. You will meet the best of people and the cats aren't too bad either," laughs John. 

To find out more about volunteering with the Cats Protection visit www.cats.org.uk