At The Mayhew we are so appreciative to the fantastic work which our dedicated and hard working volunteers do for us, and this Volunteers Week we want to share their work and experiences with you.
We spoke to one of our enthusiastic Cattery Volunteers, Lauren Osbourne, who has been volunteering with us for two years! Alongside her University training to become a Veterinary Nurse, Lauren kindly gives up her time to help out in our cattery and, as she is skilled in kitten care, specifically looks after lots of our gorgeous kittens to prepare them for loving forever homes. We are so grateful to have dedicated volunteers like Lauren – read on to find out more about this lovely volunteer!
I originally began working with The Mayhew as a work experience student as part of my studies at college. After my initial two weeks of work experience were over, I decided that I loved volunteering at The Mayhew so much that I joined as a volunteer on the cattery. Two years later, and I still volunteer on the cattery as often as I can in between studying to become a Veterinary Nurse at University. The amount of interaction with the animals and the extremely welcoming and lovely staff made me want to keep volunteering, and I always feel welcome coming to volunteer at The Mayhew. I am also a CRAZY cat lady so that played a large part in volunteering on the cattery.
I arrive at The Mayhew at around nine in the morning and I am usually based in the kitten block, as I am fairly experienced with working in the kitten area now. I feed the kittens as soon as I get in and prepare cleaning equipment ready to clean their cabins. In the morning it is my role to clean every cabin and to make sure the kittens are safe and given everything they need to make their time at The Mayhew as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
In the afternoon I feed the kittens twice more and do a bit of kitten socialisation! I can put kittens in the garden for lots of fun, and can also introduce some of the younger kittens to human socialisation and teach them good behaviour ready for their forever homes. My favourite part is getting to cuddle the kittens (who wouldn’t love that?) and seeing them bounding around in the kitten garden playing with all of the fun toys and climbing frames.
I am also a sucker for the orphaned kittens, they melt my heart!
As I am very busy at University, it isn’t always possible for me to visit as often as I would love to. When I do find time in my schedule however, I love coming to The Mayhew as I have a genuine bond with the staff and students there and it is also a great source of stress relief. The intense weeks at University can be very stressful and getting to spend time with the animals is very calming and I also find myself learning more and more every time I visit The Mayhew. I love looking after the cats and seeing them get new homes and it is especially personally rewarding knowing that I have made even a slight difference to the animals. I would be there every day if I could!
I have made so many friends with the staff at The Mayhew and they have also taught me so much! The skills and knowledge I learnt while volunteering at The Mayhew have beneftted me greatly in applying to University and without all of the help, knowledge and support that I received, I wouldn’t have been accepted into University. I absolutely adore animals and I love getting to interact with them, especially because I cannot have animals of my own while at University. I would recommend volunteering with animals to anyone!
If you’re interested in joining our pawsome team of volunteers, then head over to our webpage here to search for volunteering vacancies and how to apply.
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