Join us as a volunteer
Volunteering with Cats Protection (Carmarthenshire Branch)
A little bit about us
At the moment, we’re seeking more volunteers to help us work more effectively across the county.
We are currently a team of around 20 branch members spread across mainly Llanelli and Carmarthen.
We started out when as individuals, we responded to a call from head office to start a branch in the area and with support from head office and a Regional Development Manager, have started to develop our work. A lot of people dropped off the radar when fundraising was mentioned at the very first meeting that head office organised, but this is a highly important aspect of our work which supports our cats and kittens. It’s taken some time to get off the ground, and some hard work along the way, but we work as a team and have tremendously enjoyed the experience.
What would I be expected to do?
You can sign up as a general volunteer if you wish. This could involve helping to take cats to the vet, trapping, fundraising, cleaning pens and feeding cats in care, attending branch meetings, home checking, trapping, speaking to people on the phone, checking emails, giving talks, sourcing grants and so on. Have a think about how you can help.
We would never put you in a position that you were not comfortable with and our team ethos ensures that all volunteers are supported.
What sort of skills do I need?
An interest in cats and animal welfare is a must but apart from that, being a good communicator is also useful as you may be dealing with the public, representing the charity. We also expect all volunteers to be respectful of each other.
How many hours and what type of commitment do you expect from me?
Our volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds and we all have different levels of time we can offer. We do encourage a team ethos where we all help each other out so that the work is shared. There are allocated roles in the branch but we try and encourage people to have a hands on and positive attitude to the work involved and be open to new experiences where appropriate. There are specific job roles available which give a rough estimate of the time that is expected from a volunteer. This is also to safeguard people signing up as it is an indication of the commitment involved. Many of our volunteers work full time and juggle their commitments.
Do you hold branch meetings?
Fundraising meetings are held bi-monthly at Carmarthen Vet Hospital. General branch meetings are at the moment, held in LLanelli on the same basis.
Do you have a cattery?
We have very limited space for cats and kittens but we’re hoping this will change as we develop. Currently, we have resources in Llanelli but we could expand to any area within the county. Even though we can only house a small number of cats and kittens, we still need help in filling the rota to help look after and feed them.
What are your future plans for the branch?
We hope to develop the branch to enable us to rehome and take in more cats and kittens and expand our work to involve more trapping and helping more cats in the county. It’s a large county to cover and so with limited volunteers, the more help we get, the more area we can cover. Part of Cats Protection’s work is also to educate about welfare and neutering so we will be supporting head office to carry out this aspect of the work.
What is the relationship between you and head office?
The national office provides branch support through a Regional Development Manager allocated to each branch. The branch carries out its day to day activities without the need for assistance, but all branches and volunteers of Cats Protection should adhere to charity policies. Fundraising manager Martin Ellis helped us a great deal to get off the ground, providing us with support, advice and merchandise to start us off. A team of experts are employed within the organisation such as vets and legal experts who are able to offer advice.
Is any of the work paid?
We cannot offer any paid employment as Cats Protection carries out its work on a regional and branch level through unpaid volunteers. However some of the roles within the charity itself are paid, and we would advise you to visit the main website at catsprotection.org.uk to look for current vacancies. If you joined the branch, you would join us all as an unpaid volunteer.
So what are the benefits of volunteering?
It’s very rewarding to be helping a local cause but at the same time being part of a national organisation. It’s also rewarding to know that you’re helping cats and kittens get a better life.
Cats Protection provides fantastic training opportunities for its volunteers so that its work is carried out to a high standard. Courses are provided in, for example, infectious disease & control and feline behaviour. It’s great to be with like-minded people and you can have a bit of a laugh with each other. You can also develop existing skills and learn new ones.
Are there any drawbacks to volunteering?
Not really, if it’s what you’re passionate about and have a degree of flexibility you will fit in well. There are times when you’d rather be doing other things than standing in the middle of a shop with a fundraising bucket, or getting wet at a county show, but you have a bit of fun too and when you’re part of a good team, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
I want to find out more, what do I do?
Give us a call on 0845 260 1382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can have an informal chat to answer any of your questions and an opportunity for us to tell you a bit more about the various volunteer roles available. If you remain interested, then we will forward you an application form and arrange for you to meet with our Branch Coordinator Patrick Willey, or Assistant Branch Coordinator, Carl Gower, to chat further about how we can work together.