By Marion Pimblett, Cat and Charity Barn volunteer
My name is Marion Pimblett and I have been volunteering at the Sanctuary for one and a half years now.
Some volunteers prefer to work on a rota system and others prefer a more flexible arrangement which fits in with their other commitments. I chose to work on a Tuesday when I help with the cats who have just arrived and are looked after in the quarantine unit.
I find working with the quarantine cats very rewarding. They arrive at the sanctuary for many different reasons, quite often traumatised and with various problems. When I enter the unit, the cats start to perk up, looking forward to their morning feed. However it isn’t all about food, some want reassurance, others are more reticent, they may need medical treatment and need a lot of t.l.c. to build up their confidence.
I love to see the difference in all the cats as the days go by and it is a wonderful feeling when I know they have found their forever home.
I am not sure when I first heard about the sanctuary but I needed their help one year when a beautiful stray cat wondered into my garden looking for food and a home. Unfortunately I already had two cats of my own. So I started to feed it every day and made a temporary shelter for it out of the wind and the rain. When I contacted the sanctuary they couldn’t take him straight away as they were full. However they put me on their waiting list and it wasn’t long before they contacted me and were able to take him. Fortunately when they assessed him they found he was microchipped and they were able to contact his owners. The owners were very surprised but pleased to have him back as he had been missing for over 6 months. It was very satisfying to have such a happy ending.
I had been thinking of doing some voluntary work with animals for a while, so when I retired I decided to contact the sanctuary and offer my help.
I enjoy working at the sanctuary for many different reasons. One reason is the friendly atmosphere and the people who are all committed to the welfare of animals and want to make a difference.
Another reason is the animals who I know are getting the care they need and the satisfaction I get from seeing their improvement. One of the highlights of my time at the sanctuary was the arrival of a group of horses which had been used for animal testing. They were no longer needed and were looked after temporarily at the sanctuary until new homes could be found for them. I enjoyed watching them, nervous at first all bunched together but eventually new homes were found for them and they are all much happier now.
I also enjoy the fact that the sanctuary is situated in a quiet area by the canal and I feel that I have stepped away from the hubbub of modern life into a little oasis of fields and wildlife.
Finally I also help with sorting donations from kind people and I open the charity barn on a Tuesday afternoon where we sell many good quality donated items as well as pet products. So if you are looking for a bargain and a little tranquility please pop in you will be welcome.