Our SPCA People: Meet volunteer Christine
Meet Christine Parkin. An avid volunteer who has spent the last 30 years of her life contributing to SPCA and making a tangible difference to animal welfare in the Gisborne community.
“Christine Parkin or Mrs P as we endearingly call her, has devoted over 30 years to SPCA as a volunteer. She has served on the committee and volunteered at the Op Shop and Centre. This incredibly busy, caring lady amazes us every day with her input,” SPCA Gisborne Centre Manager Lindy Magee says.
“She is our mother, carer, baker, Saturday receptionist, friend, animal fosterer and our heart and soul.”
There’s not one thing that Christine hasn’t done to help our team and the animals at our Gisborne Centre.
Christine cleans, organises and cares for the animals and the team. She is an amazing fosterer and her foster babies come back to SPCA happy, healthy and ready for their forever homes. She sews cat and dog blankets and will turn any of the Gisborne team’s convoluted requests into amazing creations.
Not only that by Christine is coordinator of our Gisborne Centre’s event committee. At any SPCA event you can always find her mucking in and cheering everyone on.
“She is an amazing lady and like all of us she does what she does because of her love of animals and believes that we as humans need to do better by our fluffy companions,” Lindy says.
When asked why she volunteers with SPCA, Christine’s answer was simple - a love for animals.
“I’ve always loved animals and I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to them. I hate cruelty and the way people treat their animals badly. I don’t like to see anything in need, or seeing animals that are malnourished,” she says.
For years, Christine has also opened her home for vulnerable animals, particularly young kittens, fostering them until they are old enough to be desexed and adopted.
“My first kitten was found by a linesman doing a job. He picked up a little ginger kitten and that was the first foster kitten that went home with me. To this day I wonder where he is and how he is doing.”
Christine has since taken a step back from fostering, and is now focusing her efforts on advocating for desexing and promoting the Gisborne Centre’s discounted desexing programme with the Fred Lewis Foundation.
My last litter of kittens were purrers and talkers, it was lovely. But now I’m pushing for people to get their pets desexed and helping neighbours desex their cats.”
For Christine, helping SPCA isn’t just a weekly commitment but a huge part of her life.
“SPCA is my thing. I think I’d have to shrivel up and die if I had to give it up. Whether it's hanging up the washing, or cleaning cages, you know you’ve done your bit,” she explains.
“Anything Lindy wants me to do, whether it's helping with fundraising days, doing animal walks, if I can do it, I will. Every little bit, no matter how small, helps.”