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This week our Charity Committee members paid a special visit to Southampton Cats Protection where they met with Carolyne Kemp, the charity’s coordinator.
Carolyne, along with her army of volunteers, has been doing an amazing job for Cats Protection for 20 years. She takes pride and passion in all she does. Thanks to her recent fundraising efforts, the charity has built new pens, increasing her capacity to care for cats and providing them with some comfort while they are there.
Tell us a bit about your role with Cats Protection
I have been with Cats Protection for 20 years. I have always loved cats since I was a child. I originally joined as a fundraising coordinator, but like most things, it soon involved other aspects of the charity, fostering cats, trapping cats, etc. When our coordinator stepped down around 10 years ago, I was asked if I would take on the role. It had always been my plan to do this when I retire, so it just came a lot sooner than I planned.
In my commercial cattery, I take cats via Southampton social services. This can be for people going into hospital unexpectedly or people being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and as they have a duty of care to their animals, their cats get boarded with me. We take care of their cats until their owners have fully recovered or if the owner goes into care or passes away, their cats get signed over to Cats Protection to be rehomed.
I really enjoy the challenges of my role as coordinator for Cats Protection. In 2011 I won two awards for my work, ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and the ‘Trustees Distinguished Service’ award.
What inspired you to get into the charity sector?
I have always been volunteering since the age of 16. It started when I was doing the Duke of Edinburgh award and I became a Cub Scout leader. I did that for 25 years. When I decided to retire from that, I missed volunteering and saw an advert in the local paper for fundraisers for Cats Protection. I have always loved organising, booking events, etc. so this was right up my street.
What are the main challenges your charity faces?
Educating the public on the needs of cats, the importance of neutering, etc. can be challenging as dealing with people is a lot harder than dealing with cats!
How can people support or get involved?
We offer placements for college students to help them with hands-on animal work. We also have volunteering hours in our charity shop based in Totton and our multi-pen site in Totton. We’ve also had some volunteers from companies who give their employees a day a year to get involved in charity work. Some companies do collections of cat food for us, filling shoeboxes at Christmas for cats is a lovely idea we did a few years ago.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 2 September 2021