Colin Wilson was one of our finalists in the WA Metropolitan Senior of Year category, at the Western Australian Seniors Awards in 2019.
He was nominated for his work with POOPS, a not for profit run entirely by volunteers that provides a fee-free pet care service for elderly and disabled pet owners needing assistance with caring for their beloved pets. Colin has been volunteering with POOPS for almost a decade after he was approached in Darling Downs, to help out with walking dogs for some people in the area. The animal lover couldn’t refuse and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
“I’ve never really looked back since – it’s kept me going. I’m coming up on 80 this year. I know I’ve got to get up. I’ve done it all my life, getting up for a job. I don’t have to do it for 8 hours, it’s just for 2 or 3 hours in the morning and they [clients] follow up if there’s any problems.”
Colin has volunteered for various organisations since he, his wife Pat and their three kids arrived in Western Australia 45 years ago from the UK. Many of these organisationa are related to animal welfare and nature conservation, which are very important to both he and his wife.
“Nature is a gift that’s been given to us, and we believe in keeping nature”.
POOPS’ media liaison Priscilla Lynch believes this helps to explain what keeps Colin active.
“He’s an absolute gem. I listen to what he does for his clients and his POOPS pets and I wonder where he gets his energy from. But of course, as he’ll tell you himself, it’s the satisfaction he gets from doing what he does because he loves animals. They rely on him, and he won’t let them down – or his clients. He has developed friendships with clients over the years, which is the driving force I think. It’s what keeps him motivated and, of course, moving.”
Colin calls in on his clients six days a week, except Sundays. But as Priscilla points out not everyone can commit to that number of days, which she says is perfectly fine.
“If you have an hour every week to offer, that’s great! Showing up week after week is what’s important, as well as being respectful of both clients and pets. That’s the kind of volunteer we’re after.”
POOPS currently operates in the Greater Perth Metro, Busselton, Boyup Brook and Preston areas. If someone you know would benefit from the services POOPS provide, or if you’d like to know more about volunteering, please visit www.poopswa.org.au or call 1300 1100 92.