A Day in the Life of……Ipswich Mike
a KAR Ad-Hoc volunteer
Kim Betts brings us the story of Ipswich Mike……
Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR)…..
Having retired and moved to Cyprus I did not really want to commit to anything regular but at the same time I wanted to help out somewhere without becoming too involved. I think I have found the perfect answer – it is to become a KAR dogsbody (a.k.a an ad-hoc volunteer!).
Over the years of ad-hoc volunteering I have been involved on my own, or with others, on a whole range of projects or jobs none of which are exclusive and can be done by anyone. The following is just an example of some of the roles that I have been involved in.
Vet Drop/Run Driver. You get to drive the infamous KAR white (more usually dirty grey with the dust!) van up and down the mountain to and from the Centre to the vets. We take any of the cats and dogs who need treatment or are going to be neutered – ouch – to/fro the vets who help KAR! Driving a van is good fun anyway but a big old bent up van tends to concentrate the minds of the Merc taxi drivers and VIP (!) minibus drivers.
The satisfaction is enormous and you are also helping out the cats and dogs when they are at their most vulnerable.
Building Things. My only experience of this used to be to “find a man that can”!
My whole working life was spent playing sport or working in an office. To me B&Q sounded like a chapter from Fifty Shades of Gray and DIY stood for Don’t do It Yourself.
My most recent job with KAR was putting up shading for the dogs at the Centre. Mick was my CO and a very rewarding job it was – it was lovely seeing the look of relief on the dogs faces as they realised they could now relax without the extreme heat and glare of the hot sun on them.
Other jobs that I have been involved with have included learning how to make cement … or is it concrete?!
Moving gravel from A to B and then C to D, painting, making or repairing wooden kennels, building various items, clearing out the sandpit, general clearing up, making and putting up signposts and banners.
And just doing what I was told what to do really – (we men know what that feels like don’t we!).
Photo taking. Dogs, Cats, People, Inanimate objects, KAR fund raising events – all have all been victims of my attempts to mimic David Bailey. Good fun this one, much better than building!
Car Park Attendant. Ohhhhhhhhhh yes, imagine the deep joy moving on those drivers who insist on parking and blocking the entrances to the Centre and at Events. Life just does not get any better than this. If you fancy a uniform there is even a high viz jacket available.
Information Stand Girne Town Centre. I was part of this for several years with Stuart Sim who has now returned to England (I hope that you are feeling better Stuart and look after yourself mate).
This was a meet the public type role. Giving out information, answering questions and explaining what KAR can and cannot do because of lack of resources or legal issues. People just often do not understand the complexities of it all.
Stuart and I used to take great pride in raising more in donations than other volunteers who also took turns manning the stand. We were at times delighted at how generous people can be and conversely how churlish others can be. You certainly get to see all sides of people’s characters doing this one.
KAR have a wide range of quality odds and sods for sale including, but not exclusive, T-Shirts, cards, mugs, cushions, blankets, pens and pencils, fridge magnets etc. If you are ever stuck for a present pop into the KAR office.
Apart from raising money we assisted the General Public with numerous and varied enquiries and generally were the public face of KAR for a few hours.
I must take this opportunity to thank George Cafe, Girne for providing our coffee – it is much appreciated.
Distributing and Emptying Collection Boxes. Hopefully you have noticed the Blue and Yellow wooden collection boxes dotted around the area in shops, money exchange, banks and restaurants. There are about half a dozen of us who empty these boxes 4 times a year.
Because of changing circumstances there is likely to be a shortage of volunteers doing this in the near future. There is a responsibility to maintain the box on your patch, collect and account for the money and pay into the KAR office. This one is a valuable income source for KAR and if you feel able to help please contact Diana at the KAR office (0533 8694098). Diana will be sharing her experiences soon I am sure.
If you do not want to work on a regular basis but are prepared to help out when you can I really do recommend the Life of an Ad-Hoc KAR volunteer.
The satisfaction is enormous, you also get to meet some great people and you get to improve your skill set beyond your wildest dreams !
For more information about Kyrenia Animal Rescue please click here to visit our web site.