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Volunteers Story

Why I Volunteer at Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue



“I had just moved to Edinburgh and came across Sunny Harbour on the web after reading Joey’s story.

I really believe if you love your own cats, its easy to spend a little bit of time with cats that aren’t quite so fortunate.  It’s just so worthwhile to give something back for all the kitties who for one reason or another find themselves temporarily with no home.

Paul and Sarah give up so much to do what they do. I feel I don’t do much. Not really. Volunteering a few hours once a week, but Paul and Sarah appreciate any help.

Sarah’s a great one for routine and discipline – it’s better for the kitties. You soon understand what’s expected!  And Sarah’s always on hand if I need to ask questions.

I help clean the cat room – cleaning litter trays and cat pens, making sure the cats have comfy bed and toys. Much the same as I do at home, so it’s no trouble.

Of course I smooch as I go – one of the big perks of volunteering at Sunnyharbour!  The cats really appreciate the attention. Most of the cats stay for a few weeks so you get to know them and see the progress they make. It can be sad when your favourite finds a new home. But it’s great news for the kitty and there’s always new faces.

You wouldn’t believe all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. While we (another volunteer shares the duties with me) get on with the cat room it frees up some time for Paul and Sarah to get on with something else – there is always stuff to do!

I’d really encourage anyone reading this, who loves cats, whether you have a cat or not, to think about volunteering at Sunnyharbour. It’s just a few hours which is easy to do. It’s enjoyable and rewarding and I’ve learned lots too.”

If you would like to enquire about joining our friendly volunteer team then get in touch using our Volunteer Enquiry Form.

Lorna tell us why she volunteers at Sunny Harbour Cat Rescue and what she has gained from doing so.

“I have been going to SH for four and a half years now ,so I guess the question is ,why do I volunteer. The answer is simple, it is rewarding and I love doing it ,I have learned so much and I still am learning .There are also, a variety of roles involved in volunteering at the rescue.

I go to Sunny Harbour ,once a week to help with the daily routine . It is hard work ,as there is lots of cleaning to do but ,maybe I’m strange ,but I find scooping litter trays quite therapeutic . The reward I get for the work, is masses of cuddles, kisses and head bumps ,from lots of the cats. I will admit though, it can be quite challenging, cleaning a litter tray ,with a cat balanced on your shoulder ie Mr Norris. Not all the cats that arrive at Sunny Harbour ,are immediately cuddly. Many come in and due to their previous circumstances are frightened and wary of humans. It is wonderful watching the transformation take place ,where their trust is gradually gained and finally their real personalities shine through. Although I regularly fall in love with individual cats, I am always thrilled when they get their forever homes. A wee hint here, all the volunteers, love the updates the pawrents post on the Facebook page and we really enjoy the photos!

When I started at Sunny Harbour, I ’d had my own cat for about four years but I was an inexperienced and slightly naïve cat owner . I have learned a huge amount over the last four years, that has helped me whilst volunteering and being a pawrent myself. Firstly I have learned each cat is different, they have different personalities, with different likes and dislikes . I know I have to follow Sarah or Paul’s lead and tailor my behaviour to suit their characters. I have learned the important of hygiene and cleanliness, particularly when illness is present and there are cats with compromised immune systems.

Finally the biggest lesson I have learned so far is kittens may look cute and fluffy, but looks can be deceiving. They can be, dirty ,messy and can trash a pen in a split second. Additionally they have sharp teeth and claws and can move at lightening speed. There has been many occasions when I have opened a pen door and had a wall of kittens jump at me . The great thing is I’m still learning.

As I have already said I go to help with the daily cleaning at least once a week. There are usually at least two of us who spend about 3-4 hours cleaning out the cats and the rescue . Although the cleaning is vital ,there is so much more involved in volunteering. All the volunteers take part in fund raising events ,to help get the funds necessary to continue running Sunny Harbour. I have helped ,rain and shine, at children’s galas selling literally hundreds of blow up hammers. I have help set up and run our stall at several craft fairs, spending loads of money on lovely crafts at the same time. I have even spent a night in the Edinburgh Vaults and survived . As a result of helping with the fundraising  I am now 3 times more computer literate than I used to be, which my family find amazing.

So now you know why I volunteer. I guess to sum it up, it is a huge part of my life now and I simply could not imagine my life not volunteering.”


Picture shows just a few of our volunteers working hard at a fundraising event to raise critical funds for our work in cat rescue and having great fun doing so too!

We’re all part of a friendly and hard working team so if you think you could join us and help cats in need and have a good sense of humour…. Get in touch today by sending us your Volunteer Enquiry Form that you will find here.