Exceptional contribution to animal welfare recognised during National Volunteer Week

18 Jun 2018

SPCA PURINA Volunteer Award winners announced.

In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, the winners of the 2018 SPCA Purina Volunteer Awards have been announced. The awards celebrate the efforts of thousands of Kiwis who volunteer their time, talent and energy to the SPCA and to honour those who go the extra mile to better the lives of animals, nationwide.

This year, six new award categories put a spotlight on the different ways volunteers contribute to the SPCA. The winners announced this week were:

  • Best Volunteer Team – Volunteer Driver Team, SPCA’s Canterbury and Ashburton Centres
  • Fantastic Foster Family – Rachael Knight, SPCA’s Wellington Centre
  • Going the Extra Mile Award – SPCA’s Whakatane Centre
  • Best Op Shop Volunteer – May Thomson, SPCA’s Auckland Browns Bay Op Shop
  • Most Devoted Volunteer – Hannah Stewart, SPCA’s Auckland Centre
  • Outstanding Young Volunteer – The kids of a lovely Wairarapa Family, SPCA Wairarapa

More than 90 nominations were received from SPCA staff and volunteers across the country. The nominations were narrowed down to a shortlist of 18 finalists with help from Centre Managers, and judged by Andrea Midgen, CEO, SPCA and Jennifer Chappell, Country Manager, Purina. 

Andrea Midgen, CEO, SPCA says that the SPCA simply could not function without the unstinting 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.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such committed volunteers, many of whom have worked with us for several years. 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 41 Centres and over 60 Op Shops across New Zealand. Our volunteers help with every single aspect of the 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.” 

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.

“Hannah Stewart of SPCA’s Auckland Centre has dedicated 45 years of service to the SPCA and her work with the Auckland dog squad has contributed to the fundraising of more than $430,000 enabling SPCA to purchase an $18,000 dental machine for their Auckland hospital and put $21,000 towards their education programme. These volunteers are truly inspiring,” says Chappell.

The winners received a years’ supply of Purina One for their pet and a $300 Prezzy card.