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Dedicated volunteer travels 97 miles to give a helping hand

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BATTERSEA Dogs & Cats Home has over 1000 wonderful volunteers that enable them to care for thousands of dogs and cats every year but there are some who will go that extra mile to helping the charity.

For the last six years, devoted volunteer Rob Carter has made an incredible 97-mile journey from his home in Ringwood, Hampshire, to the London site – making him one of Battersea’s furthest travelling volunteers.

The Football Coach is part of the amazing Battersea volunteering team who have dedicated over 41,000 hours of their spare time to the charity in the first half of 2017.

Rob, who spends on average 2-3 hours driving to the Home, first started off volunteering in the Community Engagement team which raises awareness of responsible dog ownership, before lending a helping hand across the charity – from helping to organise fundraising initiatives in the Events team, to caring for the cats in the Cattery.

Whilst at Battersea, the committed volunteer has had the opportunity to be a part of once in a life time events. This includes performing for The Queen in The Patron’s Lunch entertainment parade, taking part in Battersea’s rehoming events, and meeting Battersea’s Royal Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

Battersea has been able to expand its Volunteering and Fostering Department and provide support to volunteers such as Rob, thanks to the generosity of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who kindly donated £200,000 in 2016. The charity has also been able to hold its first ever Volunteering & Fostering Conference in June, with over 100 delegates attending from all three Battersea centres to hear from expert speakers including renowned dog trainer Sarah Fisher and Feline Specialist Vicky Halls.

Battersea volunteer Rob Carter said: “My passion for the charity began a few years ago when I sadly lost my ex-Battersea dog. I wanted to give back to the Home and decided to sign up as a volunteer – I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been able to experience things I could never imagine, such as meeting our former Prime Minster, to making friends for life. I feel very lucky to be a part of the Battersea family and the long journey is definitely worth it.”

Charlotte Fielder, Battersea’s Head of Volunteering & Fostering, said: “We really value the incredible contribution our volunteers and foster carers make to the work we do here at Battersea, and Rob is a prime example of their dedication to the Home.

“Luckily for us we have received financial support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery which has helped us grow our volunteer programme meaning our volunteers can do even more for our dogs and cats.”

Battersea is always on the lookout for new volunteers and the charity is particularly looking for foster carers. Current vacancies can be found at https://www.battersea.org.uk/support-us/volunteer/current-volunteer-vacancies