Jen-the-jam calls time - after twenty years...
REGIONAL North Birmingham
10 January 2018
After around 20 years as a volunteer for North Birmingham Cats Protection, Jenny Reynolds, who lives in Erdington, is planning to hang up her charity jam-stirring ladle and/or – at very least - ‘hang out the litter trays to dry’ for the last time.
Over the last two decades, she has become a familiar ‘feline’ face at dozens - or more like hundreds! - of events in and around North Birmingham manning stalls and raising funds for her favourite charity by selling her delicious home-made jams and chutneys, proffering expert advice on cat welfare, and spreading the vital neutering message. Initially she combined her volunteering role with her full-time and very demanding job as a highly-respected GP in Sutton Coldfield.
But not only has she ‘made jam’ for Cats Protection. Jenny has fostered hundreds of needy cats and kittens till the right adopters came along, washed cages and blankets and towels, driven thousands of miles in vet visits and generally helped cats and their owners in ways ‘way over and above’ the charity’s regular remit. Her garden parties alone have raised thousands of pounds for the Branch, as have her jams and chutneys and dare-devil ‘sponsor me’ challenges. Anything and everything a cat lover can do, Jenny has done!
“But” she says, “It’s time for the youngsters to come in with their social media skills, enthusiasm and energy, to join the Branch. I decided that the New Year was a good time to step down and thank all the volunteers and the generous cat-loving public who have supported me. Those who have literally rolled up their sleeves at fundraising events, fostered for the branch, lugged trays of jam about, and those who have offered me kind and consoling words when the fostering got tough. Their e-mail and phone tributes keep coming in, and are so appreciated.”
Cats Protection volunteer Kathy Porter of Kingstanding, who sorts through all the donations and organises prizes at events like pub quizzes, says: “We will all miss Jenny. I have only been a volunteer for a few years but have found her unfailingly kind and generous. I will miss her company at can shakes, allotment fayres, garden parties and pub quizzes. Not to mention the kitten cuddling in her laundry room and the cauldron stirring as another batch of gorgeousness cooks to purrfection. On behalf of everyone in the Branch, a big thank you to Jenny. No-one could deserve a break and a rest more. And her own cats will find her lap far more readily available!”
** The North Birmingham Branch of Cats Protection would love to hear from would-be volunteers for 2018 – with roles ranging from fostering to fundraising, organising events like the regular Digby pub quiz and/or joining the education team giving talks and presentations. Call the helpline – 0345 260 1503, or check out the website for all the currently available opportunities.