Kathryn Graves, Chiltern Cats Protection
How long have you volunteered for Cats Protection?
I started helping out two years ago.
What do you do in your role?
My role as the branch Secretary involves dealing with emails coming in to the main branch email address and preparing agenda and minutes for committee meetings. I produce a monthly 'highlights' email to all our volunteers, which provides a summary of the branch's work each month and I organise our monthly pub nights, where volunteers get to catch up with each other. I also help with the documentation for swapping over details for microchips when cats get adopted. I run the branch's Twitter feed, promoting the cats for adoption, tweeting about missing cats, publicising branch events and generally talking to nice people about cats!
Why did you decide to volunteer?
I decided to volunteer for Cats Protection after my partner and I took in a cat that was living rough on our street, having been abandoned. I came to realise how vulnerable she had been – dependent on the kindness of strangers to ensure she survived. This made me think how many cats out there needed help and that I could do something about it. When I saw the Chiltern branch advertising for help on their Facebook page, I didn't hesitate to get in touch.
What’s the best thing about volunteering for CP?
The best thing is that you can be part of a fantastic team making a whole world of difference, not just to cats – some of which are in danger of losing their lives – but to the people who adopt them. Our branch loves to stay in contact with people who adopt our cats and from the updates we get from people, we not only see how the cats are healthy and loved, but we get to find out how much happier the owners are, too.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering for CP?
I would tell them to go for it! You'll get to make new friends, try new things, learn loads and do good things. You'll probably also end up adopting a cat (I did).
What has been the most memorable incident or day in your life as a volunteer for CP?
The day that we rehomed a pair of 17-year-old black cats. This brother and sister pair, Beamish and Murphy, had been in our care for months because people were put off by their age. We were so happy when someone came forward to adopt them, and now she's become a volunteer for the branch too!