Volunteer Amanda is a treasure ...
16 November 2018
Who better could Cats Protection coax or coerce into the role of North Birmingham branch treasurer than a cat-lover who has recently retired from 25 years service as a finance manager with West Midlands Police?
Amanda Sharman arrived on the scene with Cats Protection North Birmingham when she adopted two adorable kittens – tabby Hugo and white and ginger Harvey. And after that stepped up to the plate when she saw a vacancy for a volunteer treasurer by applying for – and getting – the job. Or ‘role’ as, of course, volunteers never get paid – except by cat and kitten cuddles and the joy of knowing they are helping their feline friends.
About her volunteering role, Amanda, who lives in Streetly, says it ‘can be fitted in and around caring commitments and other interests, as most of the work is computer based, and she can dip into her spreadsheets and checking funds and donations coming in on line, as and when it suits her’.
But that’s far from the be-all and end-all of her talents. Baking is another and she has just lovingly baked and imaginatively iced and decorated not just one – but five! – Christmas cakes to raffle off at fundraising events planned between now and Christmas.
Says Amanda: “I absolutely love cats – had them all my life – and thought about fostering. But my husband said ‘no – you will want to keep them all’. And he was probably right! So instead, I adopted two kittens, who are now my pride and joy and are 15 months old, and I help the charity by taking on the role of treasurer. I’d like to say treasurer and chief cake-baker but I know lots of our volunteers bake cakes for the summer events, so with Christmas round the corner, the obvious choice was a Christmas cake.”
Branch co-ordinator, Jane Holt, confirms the first prize will be the ‘big cake’ and those who buy tickets to support the work of the charity might well win one of the smaller, but just as delicious, Christmas cakes.
Says Jane: “The events where raffle tickets will be sold include two local Christmas fayres - the first is the Warriors Club on 25th November and the second is the Collingwood Centre on 15th December. We’ll be at both. And we have our own Cats Protection Quiz at the Digby pub on 26th November – a great night out and another opportunity to buy raffle tickets to win one of Amanda’s cakes and support us.
“We’re delighted to have Amanda on board and wonder what she will surprise us with next - she really is a treasure of a treasurer! We’re now keen to fill other volunteer roles, so we’re holding a recruitment event on Saturday 8 December at the Friends Meeting house in Sutton between 2 and 3. We hope to welcome dozens of would-be volunteers to fill all sorts of roles – and we can probably invent new ones to match whatever talents people offer us. On the admin/creative side we need social media wizards to keep our Facebook page and twitter feeds vibrant, plus a proactive publicity officer. On the more practical hands-on side we need fosterers, drivers and fundraisers. And it goes without saying the more multi-skilled – like Amanda - the merrier!”