Glastonbury and Wells Cats Protection is an active group helping cats in the Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury, Wells, Street, Castle Cary, Somerton, Cheddar, Wedmore areas and surrounding villages.
We currently have around 200 members who receive a 4 monthly newsletter in return for a membership fee of £6 per year.
All our cats are cared for in the houses or in pens in the gardens of our fosterers throughout the area.
We are ALWAYS looking for new helpers for a wide variety of tasks. There is pretty well something for everyone! Our hope is that our volunteers will enjoy helping the cats of Somerset. The work has its serious side but we try to have some fun along the way. If you decide to volunteer your help, you can be sure that we will not nag or pester you into taking on more than you feel comfortable with. Whether you can offer help for an hour a week or a day a week, it will all make a difference. All authorised expenses will be paid by our charity and there is always help and support to new volunteers.
CAT CUDDLERS are required to visit our fostered cats to give them a bit of extra love and attention while they wait for a new owner. This is a very rewarding job and if a bit of pen cleaning can be included so much the better. Most of our fosterers have to juggle jobs and family commitments along with caring for the cats so an extra pair of hands is always welcome. We currently have cuddlers in the Glastonbury area but need help in Batcombe and Oakhill.
TRANSPORTING CATS. We need car owners in all areas to help with collecting cats and taking them to fosterers, or taking them to the vets or helping members of the public who have no transport to take their cats for veterinary attention.
CHECKING STRAY CATS FOR MICROCHIPS is another job for volunteers with their own transport. Checking the cats with a scanner provided by us is easy, often the most difficult part is being around to do this at the same time as the stray!
It isn't always possible but as so many cats are now microchipped because of our Neutering and Chipping Campaigns we are able to reunite many more stray cats with their anxious owners, a very rewarding part of our job.
HOME CHECKERS are always needed and full training is given. This job involves visiting the homes of prospective owners to check their suitability to take one of our cats. We are not looking for tidy spotless homes, we want caring homes in the right environment. Requirements do vary from cat to cat but the home checker will always be given guidance from the fosterer as to what is required. Also we would never expect the home checker to turn down an unsuitable home. That would be done by the fosterer after discussion with the home checker.
NEW FOSTERERS are always needed but we generally advise that people work with us for a while before committing to fostering so that they get to know us all and see what is involved in fostering.
New fosterers are provided with specially made pens erected in their garden. These pens are not cheap. A single unit costs us around £2000 and the double units even more so we need to be sure the volunteer will commit to fostering for a while, before we spend out such large sums of money. It isn’t a job for everyone. But if you love cats and want to help the homeless ones to a better life it is an immensely rewarding experience and very addictive! Cats Protection do of course cover all the costs of fostering like food, litter, etc.
TRAPPING of STRAY and FERAL CATS is an important part of our work. Again this is not a job for everyone but those who do help find it satisfying to be able to help these cats to a better life. There isn’t always a happy ending. Sick or FIV/FEL positive feral cats have to be euthanased. Otherwise they can face a slow and painful death. But we can safely say there are many more happy endings than sad ones. All new trappers go out with experienced trappers until they feel comfortable to go it alone. Also there is always help at the end of the phone.
As well as volunteers to help with hands on cat work we need HELPERS FOR ADMINISTRATION and fundraising. These areas are perfect for people who prefer not to be involved with the cats themselves but are keen to be involved in our work.
Also needed, a stand-in PUBLISHER of our Newsletter "Mews" to cover sickness and holidays. We only publish 3 times per year, and full training and FREE software will be provided. You need a computer, phone and an email address.
FUNDRAISERS are needed to help at our Christmas Fair in Wells, or on stalls during the summer. We would also like to hear from anyone willing to organize their own fundraising event to help our cats. Coffee mornings, raffles, cream tea afternoons or any new ideas are always welcome.
The charity also runs regular neutering campaigns and we need HELP WITH ISSUING VOUCHERS while the campaign is running. This job does not require the volunteer to have transport but they do need to have a landline with an answering service. (see Neutering)
If you would like to talk more, without obligation, about any aspect of our work please contact Emma on 01458 850823 or Gill on 01749 850660. We promise not to pester you or ask you to do more than you can manage. We can also promise that you will make new friends and have fun along the way as well as helping the Somerset cats to a better life. What could be better than that?