A VOLUNTEER who helped rescue a small animal charity from closure has been rewarded for her efforts.

Mandi Dale has been awarded the One Voice for Animals UK Virtual Volunteer Award for 2021.

Ms Dale, works as a volunteer for Marg's Moggies in Bradford on Avon, a small charity which helps rescue cats.

Although she has since moved to Norfolk, she still continues to help the charity to run its website and social media, plus fundraising remotely.

Nominating Ms Dale, Margaret Jenkins, the founder of Marg's Moggies, said: "Without Mandi we would have had to close."

Val Green, who founded the One Voice for Animals UK support network, said: "The judges were really impressed that Mandi has continued to support Marg's Moggies cat rescue in Bradford upon Avon, even though she had moved 200 miles away to Norfolk."

Marg's Moggies prides itself on never turning down an abandoned or homeless cat as long as they have space.

Ms Dale began volunteering when the rescue first opened, even though it involved a two-hour round trip. Recently, she moved away to Norfolk but remains committed to volunteering.

She now runs the online Marg’s Moggies and Mutts Rescue Shop on Facebook and sells home-grown plants.

Her fundraising now includes recycling and turning items such as ink cartridges and costume jewellery into much-needed funds for the charity.

She said: "I get so much from volunteering. The rescue has helped me as much as I have helped it.

"Networking with people who then go on to help the rescue, always gives me a sense of achievement, that in some small way MM is stronger because someone has listened to the rescues needs through me, and then gone on to help, too.

"Personally, it gives me a sense of belonging, of self-worth and value to be able to help."

One Voice for Animals UK was set up last year to support small animal rescue organisations struggling due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Its aim is to provide long-term support to animal rescues and increase awareness and campaign for issues relevant to them.

Almost 300 organisations have already registered to be listed on their public directory as a single go-to place for the public to find local animal rescues.

Registered organisations range from hedgehog hospitals to reptile rescues and numerous traditional dog, cat and small animal rescues.

All have one thing in common – a need for volunteers to help in a variety of important roles, from fundraising to helping track and rescue injured animals.

As Covid-19 limitations are being relaxed, OVFAUK is celebrating the volunteers whose work became so crucial during the recent lockdowns.

Awards winners were announced at national virtual fundraising coffee morning on Saturday, May 1.

The awards were sponsored by Elementsforlife.co.uk, an award-winning vegan chocolate company run by Dan and Paula Knowlson.