We had our committee meeting earlier this evening. I wanted to wait till I knew more about how CWS will be running next year, before announcing to you that I will be stepping down at the end of this year.
When I started working with CWS, it was on the understanding that I would be here for 6 months - 6 years on and it's time for me to move on. Due to personal reasons, I will be spending significantly more time away from Singapore, and CWS cannot continue to run if I am on no-pay leave for much of the time. For example, bills and reimbursements piled up while I was away on this last trip, creating a huge backlog.
We have been searching for someone to take over my job for a while. Though I formally told the committee I would be stepping down in late October, I had told them of my intention to step down two years ago. However though we have tried to look for someone, we have not been able to find anyone willing to take on the job. Rebecca came on board this year (and did a great job!) but unfortunately had to leave because of other commitments. As such, we still have not been able to find anyone.
The committee has decided to hire someone to do the administrative work (and a job description will be posted sometime early next week for anyone who may want to apply) and hopefully at some point we will also be able to hire someone else to take over mediations/meeting with TC officers etc. In the meantime, the rest of the committee will help to take over these duties so you can continue to write in and there will very likely be a phone number which everyone can call as well.
This is a very difficult decision for me to come to because I have been very lucky to be able to work in a job which is so fulfilling (most of the time!) and to work with so many wonderful people like you and so many great caregivers. I have gotten to know so many dedicated, hardworking individuals who put in so much time and effort for the cats and I am honestly in awe of your dedication.
In addition, I've 'met' a lot of people through this blog whom I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to know (or get to know better). When I first started this blog, hardly anyone read it and they were mostly people I knew. Now I count amongst the readers a wide spectrum from caregivers to town council officers and from Singaporeans to people abroad. I've had people write in to say that they learnt something new - and I in turn have learnt a lot from you.
It does not however mean that I'm going to disappear once the year is out and that you can never contact me again. I will be getting a new email address and you are always welcome to email me if you have anything I can help you with - or even if you just want to chat.
I haven't yet decided if I should continue with the blog - obviously it will be a new blog as I'll no longer be working with CWS. If I have enough interesting news regarding cats to share, then I'll continue with it and post here to let you guys know what the new blog address will be. Maybe if you have ideas on what I ought to blog about or if you'd like me to continue with the blog, you can drop me a line and share your thoughts with me. It is quite likely that I will continue working with cats even if I'm not in Singapore.
I'm not going to say goodbye because I'll still be here for the next month, blogging almost every day - but even after that, as I said, I'm just an email away. I'll just be helping in a personal capacity rather than in as a CWS staff member. Meanwhile the committee will be there if you need any official CWS help too.
Now is probably a good time to mention that Corbie and Jacin are stepping down too, in addition to the adoption volunteer. Corbie has to go back to the US and we will all miss her - her work on donations and membership has been invaluable the last few months. Jacin, who many of you know for her tireless work (and always cheerful manner) through exhibitions, is taking a larger role as a caregiver in her area and would like to devote more time to her community cats and to working with other caregivers. Good luck Jacin and I know that the community cats are lucky to have you working even harder for them! The adoption volunteer would also like to take a break after 4 years of volunteering on an often difficult job. Thanks to all these wonderful volunteers for everything they have contributed to CWS - we could not have done it without you.