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Volunteer Awards 2019

Feeding a better future for pets


Each year, thousands of Kiwis volunteer their time, talent and energy to the SPCA and the countless pets in need across New Zealand.

The SPCA Purina Volunteer awards have been created to celebrate these special people and to put a spotlight on the numerous ways volunteers contribute to the SPCA.

Congratulations and a big thank you to our 2019 winners below:

Best Volunteer Team – Lauren and Chris Phillips, SPCA Nelson
Fantastic Foster Family – Anna Crum, SPCA Whangarei
Going the Extra Mile Award – Ian Blackler, SPCA Christchurch
Best Op Shop Team Volunteer – Catherine Ashby, SPCA Dannevirke Op Shop
Most Devoted Volunteer – Valerie Garner, SPCA Auckland
Outstanding Young Volunteer – Fraser Pettigrew, SPCA Wellington

Meet Our 2019 Winners

Best Volunteer Team

Lauren and Chris Phillips, SPCA Nelson

Weekend Supervisor Canine Assistant Trudi Hazlitt-Black nominated Lauren and Chris for the award. She said the couple are always thinking outside the box with fundraising, and fostering mother cat and kittens. “Chris and Lauren have been volunteers for four years, Chris with the dogs, and Lauren with the cats. They turn up every Saturday with a smile on their faces, always willing to help. Chris has even designed new areas around the centre, his input into our constructions has been invaluable,” says Kirsty.

Fantastic Foster Family

Anna Crum, SPCA Whangarei

Retail Manager for SPCA Op Shop in Kamo and Whangarei Alison Fromont nominated Anna for the award. She said Anna has helped provide care for hundreds of kittens over the years while also volunteering at the SPCA Second Chance Store. “Anna has dedicated herself to saving cats and kittens, literally saving the lives of hundreds of them. During the last kitten season, she fostered 114 kittens as well as some of the mother cats. She is such a compassionate person.”

Most Devoted Volunteer

Valerie Garner, SPCA Auckland Centre

SPCA Supporter Care Administrator Zoe Baikie nominated Valerie for the award. She said Valerie has been part of the volunteer team since 2009, assisting the team with receipt and letter folding. “Our department could not operate without Valerie. She can fold and stuff 500 receipts in one day which is absolutely incredible. Valerie is quick, efficient, and has an eye for detail.” Valerie said she began volunteering because she wanted to help out in the best way she could, and because she always loved animals, she chose SPCA. “I have thoroughly enjoyed all the time I have had volunteering at SPCA. Volunteering is well worth your time, as you help the animals who can’t speak for themselves,” says Valerie. “I have lots of memories of my time volunteering that all come together to form a huge happy picture, which is how I think of my time volunteering at SPCA. If I had to give up volunteering, I’d be heartbroken, I really would.”

Best Op Shop Team Volunteer

Catherine Ashby, SPCA Dannevirke Op Shop

SPCA Napier Area manager Bruce Wills nominated Catherine for the award. He said that Catherine recognised the potential of the SPCA Dannevirke Op Shop, and breathed new life into the shop by taking up the managerial role at the shop. “Catherine has spent literally hundreds of hours cleaning up and re-organising the op shop, driving 100km per day to Dannevirke from Waipukurau. Since then, the shop has gone from strength to strength. Catherine has transformed the shop with the help of only three other volunteers,” says Bruce. Catherine has a huge passion for animals, especially cats. While she lives with complex regional pain syndrome, she believes her volunteering allows her to be a contributing member of society within the boundaries of her disability. “Volunteering at SPCA means that I am able to get what I need as a person, whilst helping raise much needed funds for the voiceless animals,” says Catherine.

Going the Extra Mile

Ian Blackler, SPCA Christchurch

SPCA Christchurch’s Volunteer Coordinator Caitlin Hamilton nominated Ian for the award. Ian was nominated for the Purina SPCA Volunteer of the Year Awards twice, and is known around SPCA’s Christchurch Centre as always having a positive and friendly attitude. Caitlin said Ian regularly goes the extra mile for the Inspectorate, but a recent event really stood out. “We had a client who was genuinely trying hard to provide for her dog in very trying circumstances. Her dog has a serious illness called megaoesophagus, which means he can’t keep his food down, so he has to be fed sitting upright, and then remain upright for a period of time after eating,” Caitlin says. “The solution to this problem is a dog ‘chair’. We approached Ian, who is very handy, for help. He visited the dog, took some measurements, and showed up a few days later with a custom dog chair. He sourced all the materials from scraps and even took the time to paint it. He did this on top of his driving duties, always happy to have a crack at anything the centre needs doing. Sometimes he works too hard and needs to be reminded to look after himself!”

Outstanding Young Volunteer

Fraser Pettigrew, SPCA Wellington

SPCA National Training Manager Kirsty Grant nominated 16-year-old Fraser for the award. She said Fraser has fostered over 40 animals in two years, including taking on animals that many experienced fosterers would not feel comfortable with. “When Fraser began volunteering with SPCA, we needed bottle feeding fosterers. Fraser started during the school holidays and his first two kittens needed feeding every 3-4hours. This is a big ask for adults, let alone a teenager like Fraser! He took it all in his stride, learning new skills and caring for very vulnerable animals,” says Kirsty. “Without Fraser, these animals would not have had a second chance at life.” Fraser says he loves being able to educate others on the topic of fostering. He has even delivered a presentation about fostering to a SPCA holiday school programme, as well as representing SPCA fostering at the Westpac Home & Garden show. “Whether you’re considering volunteering or fostering, there are many rewarding aspects to it and I highly recommend it,’ says Fraser.

PURINA NZ Team Photo 1140 x 641px

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