Auckland resident named ‘Most Devoted Volunteer’ by SPCA and Purina
Most Devoted Volunteer
Hillsborough Height’s resident Valerie Garner has won the ‘Most Devoted Volunteer’ award in the 2019 SPCA Purina Volunteer Awards after clocking up more than 2500 volunteer hours.
The award is one of six awards given by SPCA and Purina during National Volunteer Week. The awards celebrate the 5,000 volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to SPCA across the 39 SPCA centres and 56 SPCA Op Shops.
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.”
More than 120 nominations were received from SPCA staff and volunteers across the country for the awards. The nominations were narrowed down to a shortlist and judged by Andrea Midgen, CEO, SPCA and Jennifer Chappell, Country Manager, Purina.
Andrea says that SPCA simply could not function without the loyal contribution of the national network of 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 Ms. Midgen.
“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.
“At Purina, we believe that people and pets are better together so we feel very privileged to be working with SPCA to recognise the meaningful contribution made by their volunteers,” says Chappell.
2019 SPCA Purina Volunteer Award winners:
- 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
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
Content provided by SPCA