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Dedicated animal lovers’ service celebrated

To mark the beginning of National Volunteer Week, the winners of the 2019 SPCA Purina Volunteer Awards have been announced. The awards celebrate the efforts of thousands of Kiwis who volunteer their time, talent and energy to SPCA and to honour those who go the extra mile to better the lives of animals, nationwide.

Six award categories put a spotlight on the different ways volunteers contribute to the SPCA. The winners announced this week were:

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

More than 120 nominations were received from SPCA staff and volunteers across the country. The nominations were narrowed down to a shortlist and judged by Andrea Midgen, CEO, SPCA and Jennifer Chappell, Country Manager, Purina.
Andrea Midgen says that SPCA simply could not function without the loyal contribution of a national network of more than 5,000 volunteers, and partners such as Purina, who have sponsored these awards since 2016 and ensure all SPCA’s cats and dogs nationwide are fed with Purina One.

“Our dedicated volunteer base is the lifeblood of our organisation, many of whom have worked with us for several years. It is because of these incredible people that SPCA can continue to help tens of thousands of animals each year. Together with Purina, we want to acknowledge the difference these volunteers make to the lives of animals in need,” says Midgen.
“The awards recognise the contribution made by volunteers at our 38 Centres and over 56 SPCA Op Shops across New Zealand. Our volunteers help with every single aspect of SPCA’s work – from cleaning and feeding animals, to helping with administration and fundraising. Our Op Shop volunteers receive, clean and merchandise donated goods to help raise vital funds,” adds Midgen.
Jennifer Chappell, Country Manager, Purina says Purina is immensely proud to be sponsoring these awards and to be able to help in recognising some of the most generous and selfless people in New Zealand.
“Valerie Garner of SPCA’s Auckland Centre has clocked up more than 2500 volunteer hours and assists the supporter care team every week, rain or shine. Anna Crum who won this year’s Fantastic Foster Family Award has fostered more than 114 kittens in the last kitten season alone. These volunteers are truly inspirational,” says Chappell.

The winners received a years’ supply of Purina One for their pet and a $300 Prezzy card.
To learn more about volunteering at SPCA, visit www.spca.nz/how-you-can-help/volunteer



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