Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2021
This Volunteer Week (1st-7th June 2021) we want to say a special thank you to all of our Volunteer Heroes throughout the USPCA for their amazing hard work and dedication during this past year.
It has been a very challenging time for the charity and your support through volunteering has been vital in helping us continue our work.
Say hello to James! James is a retired University lecturer who has relocated to Northern Ireland. He lives outside Castlewellan with his dog, cats, hens, goats and his latest additions, some honey bees. James is an avid animal welfare supporter and when he saw that the Charity needed volunteers, it was the perfect opportunity!
James volunteers in the USPCA Charity store two mornings a week and loves the variety of jobs and meeting new people. He has been giving his time for over two years now and has played a vital role during Covid in helping us keep the Charity Store open and running.
So thank you James, we really appreciate everything you do!
Michael lives locally in Banbridge and is a well-known face around the town! He has always worked with the public and after retiring, missed the interaction and kindly decided to give us his time.
Michael works two afternoons a week and is another volunteer who has been with the Charity Store team since they first opened their doors just over two years ago.
He is part of our amazing Volunteer Heroes team and has helped greatly in keeping the Store running! So if you’re popping in and see the lovely Michael on the till, make sure to say hello.
Ronan has been supporting the team for approximately two and half years now and is always ready to lend a helping hand. He can often be seen helping out our Animal Care Team and also supports our fundraising activities from street collections and bag packing, to fun challenges.
As you can see, Ronan has a real soft spot for kittens and if he had his way, the house would be full of them. Alongside his love of our smaller rescues, Ronan gets a real buzz from getting stuck into all areas of the Charity.
Thank you so much for your amazing support.
Audrey is semi-retired and a long-standing USPCA supporter. She has also rehomed dogs through the Charity including her wonderful companion Peggy who was with her for 7 years after being found in a bad way roaming Newry.
Audrey had originally thought of volunteering to support our Animal Care Team by walking dogs but instead gave us a few weeks to help set up the Charity Store. Now two years on, she is still coming in to help the team on a Wednesday morning! A big thank you to Audrey for all her support.
Make sure to say hello to her next time you're in our Charity Store!
Sally and Geraldine
Sister duo Sally and Geraldine support the USPCA Charity Store team! They are both retired nurses and avid animal lovers with a keen support for animal welfare.
Geraldine lives just outside Dundalk with her zoo of animals and also finds time to volunteer at Horse Haven and Seal Rescue Island. Sally relocated home from the Isle of Man after retirement and now lives in Warrenpoint with her three cats Jessie, Jasper and Belle.
We’re delighted to have these two ladies helping our team every Wednesday afternoon over the past two years. Thank you both dearly – you really brighten up our days and your support is massively appreciated.
Shannon joined the USPCA volunteer team earlier this year and provides a great a help for our Pet Supplies Shop in merchandising the stock on a weekly basis.
Working nearby the USPCA, Shannon spotted the volunteering position and knew right away that it was something she wanted to be involved in. She's happiest when around animals of all kinds but does have a true love for dogs and horses. Shannon's favourite part of the role is seeing all the animals that come in brought back to full health and then released safely into the wild or rehomed to new families!
She owns a 17 year old cat, two horses and two dogs called Penny and Sonny. Handsome Sonny pictured here was kindly rescued from the USPCA by Shannon. Thank you for all your hard work Shannon!
Kerry-Anne joined the USPCA volunteering team five years ago after moving from England and was a big help to our Animal Care team, looking after each and every one of our residents, big and small! A short time later, she discovered her love of fostering – providing round-the-clock care for delicate young kittens that needed that helping hand to thrive.
Kerry-Anne also opened her home to USPCA rescues on a more permanent basis by welcoming not one, but two beautiful dogs to her family – Marley and Maya. Both dogs didn’t have the best starts in life but Kerry-Anne has truly turned that around for them and gives them the added excitement of meeting new foster kittens on a regular basis.
Kerry-Anne always knew she wanted to devote her free time to the care of animals and for her, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a kitten successfully develop and then find its loving new home. She also enjoys the ongoing volunteering support provided by the USPCA. A big thank you to Kerry-Anne for her unwavering support.
Mary is the newest addition to our volunteering team at the USPCA Charity Store and also works part-time as librarian in Armagh Library.
She lives on a farm with her husband so has a real love for animals! Mary is also a keen cyclist and is looking forward to getting out and about in her new camper van soon. Mary has a real passion for helping animals and we’re so pleased that she took us up on our offer to help out in the Store. She absolutely loves it so far, especially getting the opportunity to meet all of our customers!
Thank you Mary, we really appreciate your support and have really enjoyed getting to know you!
Anne joined the team in August last year and has been a great support for our Animal Care team, helping with the daily routines of cleaning, feeding, and walking, as well as ensuring all of our animals get an abundance of cuddles.
Anne previously lived in England and spent her free time there helping the RSPCA, primarily with looking after cats. Now in the last eight months, she has been able to develop her animal care experience by looking after our beautiful rescue dogs too. She is a true animal lover and was the owner of a lovely 15-year-old cat she had rescued in her previous volunteering role which sadly passed away at Christmas.
Anne is drawn to animals that tend to be overlooked maybe due to age or illness and took a particular liking to Safron here at the USPCA who was with us for quite some time. Safron, now known as Saffie, has settled in well and is described as quite a character. He had a very sheltered life previously, so Anne has really enjoyed him exploring his new home – just last week he was enjoying a good roll in the sun.
Jean is a massive animal lover and says if she won the lottery, she would buy somewhere that she could have animals everywhere.
Anyone that has visited the Charity Store will know Jean and Squirt, with Jean always having time for a wee chat especially if it’s about him! Jean has been with us from when we first opened the Store in 2019 and nearly fell off the seat after being invited for a chat about volunteering.
Thank you, Jean, (and Squirt too!) for all your hard work.
She has been volunteering at the USPCA for over a year now and helps out with the day-to-day animal care routines, including the not-so-glamorous cleaning of our animal enclosures! She also helps our Veterinary team when needed.
Emma has two beautiful rescue dogs at home and would very happily expand the family of rescues in a heartbeat! She also loves looking after young kittens who enter our care.
A big thank you to Emma for all her hard work during this past year.
Brian and Rachel
Brian and Rachel are both massive animal lovers, especially their dog Massie who is definitely one of the family in their house. Rachel joined the team just after we opened and has been with us ever since. She is a part-time Carer but still finds the time to come to the Store every Thursday morning, even after coming home that morning from a night shift.
Brian joined the team after the first lockdown as he knew we needed help and being retired, he had some extra time on his hands. Brian has also been known to put on a Santa suit, helping out at our Santa Paws events! These two are the most kind-hearted people you will meet! Thank you for everything you do - we’re very lucky to have you as part of our team.
Kevin just happened to call into the USPCA Charity Store to see what was going on and left as a volunteer! He is another well-known face about Banbridge and Lawrencetown who always has a big hello for you when he’s out and about. Kevin is a real animal lover, especially dogs.
He preferred to be out on the road and is a great support to our driver in helping with deliveries and collections. Thank you for all your fantastic work Kevin!
Anna and Rona
Check out our Volunteer Heroes mother and daughter team, Rona and Anna. They live just outside Dromora with their cats, dogs, goats, sheep and birds!
Rona had volunteered for other Charities but the USPCA was a charity which was very close to her heart, so she decided to give us a hand. Rona also works part-time as an Ambulance Operative.
Along with Rona, we were so pleased to welcome Anna! Anna has just finished lower sixth and spends her weekends and school holidays with us. She is an amazing artist and is the mastermind behind our window drawing. Nothing is ever too much for these two - thank you both so much, we really do appreciate it.
Stuart is a familiar face around Banbridge and the surrounding areas - there aren’t too many who don’t know Stuart in some form or another.
He was looking for a new challenge, so he decided to volunteer with us. Stuart is an incredibly hard worker and is at his happiest when he’s busy! He loves animals but isn’t as fond of cats!
Stuart certainly keeps us on our toes and we’re so pleased to have him supporting our work - thank you!