The Volunteer of the Month Award for August 2023 was awarded to Matthew Marfell.
Matthew has been a member of the volunteer team at the Marlborough SPCA for 8 years now, visiting the centre every Monday with his friend Lynne to lend a helping hand. Together they spend time cleaning the various cat and kitten huts, refilling litter trays, filling food and water dishes, monitoring behaviour and health and socialising with the cats and kittens, grooming, emptying bins, helping with laundry and, most importantly, bringing a smile to everyone's face.
When we asked Matthew what his favourite part was about helping out at the SPCA he said that he especially enjoys getting to be with the kittens, getting some cuddles and having them climb his legs.
Rochell Blair [Volunteer Coordinator] says "Matthew loves all the animals, treats them very well, and is super understanding of each cats' individual needs. He never fails to put a smile on everyone's face and he is super helpful, always looking for tasks to help out wherever he can".
Matthew's friend Lynne told us, "Matthew has autism and being out here all these years, helping out and getting to know the team has really helped to build his confidence day to day. He finds it very rewarding and finds the whole team to be very lovely."
When Matthew isn't volunteering at the SPCA, he spends time rebuilding cars with his dad, or down at Brayshaw Park with the trains, enjoying anything that is mechanical.
As one of the longest serving volunteers that the Marlborough SPCA has, Matthew has certainly found himself a home away from home with the wonderful team of staff and volunteers. He particularly likes to know how many cats and kittens have been adopted throughout the year so he knows how many have gone to their forever, loving homes. He's very dedicated to the cats and they are close to his heart.
"He genuinely brings joy to all those that work alongside him," Rochell goes on to say. "He is showing everyone that despite the perceptions that people often attach to those with autism, he (and others) can achieve amazing things."
Matthew and the SPCA team would like to remind you to please de-sex your animals and make sure they're microchipped. We are about to enter another 'kitten season' and they'd love to see the numbers of cats and kittens drop dramatically. And hey...if you're keen to add a family member, head out to the Renwick centre and see all the gorgeous cats and dogs up for adoption!
Thank you, Matthew, for your dedication and hard work in helping the SPCA!
(Matthew is pictured here with the centre's very own mascot / leader....Thunderpaws)
Thank you to New World Blenheim for sponsoring our Volunteer of the Month Award.