Friday, 25 September 2020

Norfolk volunteers mark branch’s 5th birthday despite lockdown

Cats Protection’s Anglia Coastal Branch is marking five years of caring for cats, despite COVID-19 restrictions stopping their plans for a party and fundraising fair.

Celebrations might have been scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic - and they won’t even be able to share a cake - but the volunteering team has every right to feel proud of their achievements.

They’ve successfully helped nearly 1,500 cats since the branch opened in Waveney five years ago. This includes 1,111 adoptions, welfare support for 524 needy strays and 166 cats as part of the trap-neuter-return programme.

black cat laying on knitted blanket next to cuddly toys
Odin was the first cat rehomed by the branch five years ago

Odin was the first cat to be adopted from the Anglian Coastal Branch. This handsome black boy was mirrored by beautiful young stray Monty, who became the team’s 1,000th cat rehomed in December 2019.

It isn’t all about rehoming and neutering though. The branch works at the heart of the community and goes to great efforts to provide information and advice on better cat ownership with hundreds of local people attending their branch fairs and fundraising events.

Impressive numbers backed up by the commitment that has kept this small army of cat carers and fosterers who have worked tirelessly throughout lockdown. Even while volunteering was put on hold due to the government’s coronavirus restrictions, cats already in care were never overlooked and the team was on call for emergencies.

piece of string dangling in front of a black cat
Monty was the 1,000th cat rehomed by the branch in December 2019

Lynne Pothecary, Publicity Officer for Cats Protection Anglia Coastal Branch, said: “Sadly, we haven't been able to make any plans to celebrate because of the new rules about no more than six people. That was disappointing, of course, as we wanted to thank the whole community by involving everyone in our celebrations.

“We’ll give ourselves a pat on the back and then we’ll get on with what we do best; caring for local cats and supporting our community of cat owners with welfare information to improve the lives of all cats.”

The results wouldn’t have been possible without five volunteers who have been with the branch since it started; Christine Cutts, Charmaine Woods, Suzanne Hindes, Jackie Jones and Linda Holland, who has more than 25 years of experience with Cats Protection.

Cat Welfare Coordinator Christine Cutts, who was the branch’s first volunteer five years ago, said: “Better cat ownership that benefits the lives of cats and their families drives our work on welfare, support and education in the community. Our job doesn’t end when a cat finds a loving home. We help the cat and owner settle down together. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and we look forward to the next five years.”

Acting Admin Coordinator Linda Holland, agreed: “This is a result of teamwork and the support of our community. Without local people who come to our events and notify us of cats in need, we wouldn’t be able to raise necessary funds and spread the word about better care for cats and their owners. We are an extended team and everyone should be part of our celebrations.”

If you would like to support our Anglian Coastal Branch, please visit their website for more information. If you’re interested in volunteering with Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/volunteering to find an opportunity near you.  


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