Stoke man wins national PDSA volunteer award

21 February 2018

A Stoke man has beaten off competition from across the UK to scoop a top volunteer award.

Darren McGarrigle (30) has been crowned joint PDSA Veterinary Volunteer of the Year in our annual awards. He shares the prestigious award with Tracey Neville, a volunteer at Gillingham PDSA in Kent.

For the past nine years, Darren has volunteered two days a week to help the vet team our Stoke Pet Hospital, which cares for sick and injured pets in need. His role includes cleaning, assisting with caring for pets in the kennels and stocktaking.

Outside of his volunteering, Darren also maintains a job as an agency cleaner, meaning he sometimes works a seven day week. His warm sense of humour has made him popular with staff at the Pet Hospital and his commitment to helping pets in need is appreciated by everyone.

Client Services Manager at Stoke PDSA Pet Hospital, Ashley Stevens, said: “It is hard to describe everything that Darren does for us here as he works so hard. He has been spending time with our vet care assistant team in an effort to increase his skill set and has been getting involved with helping out in the dispensary.

Darren was presented with a trophy, framed certificate and £50 Pets at Home vouchers by PDSA Director of Veterinary Services, Richard Hooker, at the hospital on Club Street.

Mr Hooker said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of PDSA and it’s clear that Darren is dedicated to the charity. His commitment has helped countless pets over the years. The judges were impressed with his volunteering record at PDSA despite having another job which occupies a large amount of his time. The charity is extremely grateful for his support and he thoroughly deserves this award.”

Speaking about his award, Darren said: “It is incredibly humbling to know that my peers have recognised and value my contribution to PDSA. I was thrilled when I heard I had been nominated for and won the award. I don’t feel like a volunteer here, I feel like another member of the team and I look forward to coming in to help, knowing that I’m helping PDSA care for sick and injured pets.”

At PDSA we have nearly 4,000 volunteers helping in our charity shops, pet hospitals, offices and fundraising groups across the country. Together these generous volunteers make a huge difference for our charity.

To join our volunteering team or to find out more about helping pets in need visit our volunteering page or call 0800 854 194.

The PDSA Volunteer Awards are now in their 15th year and are supported by Pets at Home.

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