Bianca Kubler, Co-ordinator, North Hertfordshire branch
Why did you start volunteering with Cats Protection?
I first started volunteering for Cats Protection when I took early retirement at 53. I had become a member of the charity in the 80s because of my love for cats and was always really moved by the hard work and commitment of the branch volunteers so thought I could now do something practical to help. Now 14 years on I am still the coordinator of the North Hertfordshire branch and looking back I am amazed the enormous difference it has made to the cats in North Hertfordshire which makes every moment worthwhile.
What does your role as Volunteer Coordinator involve?
As a coordinator you have to be a team member as well as a team leader and key is the ability to pull everything together and to motivate and value all the volunteers. The role is very varied from doing the key admin to making difficult decisions and trying to maintain harmony within the team. My own view is that I will not ask anyone to do something I have not done myself and I like to lead from the front but also to give other volunteers the space and encouragement to make their own mark.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Cats Protection?
Volunteering for Cats Protection is great as you can get involved as much or as little as you like. The National Cat Centre is excellent at providing support and help but encourages you to be proactive and, as a coordinator, to be responsible for running your branch. You have to be passionate about what you do and above all have a love for cats as well as caring about the people who need your help. No other animal charity has this approach and I think it is a wonderful way to volunteer as it plays to my strengths.
What is your most memorable moment during your time with CP?
My most memorable moment was when I got a call from the Regional Director to invite me to attend the annual conference for companion animal welfare in Berlin. This was amazing, to meet like-minded people and to see the commitment, how many struggle to make a difference with little support and understanding about welfare issues in countries across the world and the energy and believe that animals need a better deal. This made me feel part of a much larger community of people who take action to give animals a better life worldwide.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Cats Protection?
I really have to say Thank You to Cats Protection for making my life more fulfilling through their approach to volunteering. My key message to would be volunteers is ‘give it a go; you never know what a difference you can make unless you try.’