Cat centre saved thanks to generous donations

A cat charity on the brink of closure has managed to raise tens of thousands of pounds to ensure its future, thanks to generous donations from well-wishers and supporters.

Staff and volunteers at Feline Care in East Harling, near Thetford, were told in July that they needed to find �70,000 by the end of September to keep it open.

It came after charity trustees in Sussex decided that they could no longer cope with the responsibility of their Norfolk branch and gave officials three months to raise the money to buy the centre.

Donations have surpassed the target, however, with �71, 116 now in the kitty. Any left over money will be used for legal costs and to keep the charity running day-to-day.

Mollie Farrar, who runs the centre, which houses up to 140 cats at a time said she was overwhelmed with the success. “We’ve managed it between our volunteers, who have donated quite major sums of money, and the rest which has come in �10 and �50 and �100 donations and people have seen our charity tins at events,” she said.

“To be honest, when we started we were just desperately trying to keep positive, it didn’t occur to us how good it would feel when we got there. We hadn’t had a chance to sit back but we’re there now and we’re just waiting for the legalities to go through and it’s amazing.

“I can’t believe how kind and generous people have been and how many hours they’ve put in.”

Most Read

The Feline Care team have spent the past few months relentlessly fundraising and saw a monthly open day – the first since their fundraising appeal started – raise over �1,600 – more than four times the usual amount.

One anonymous donor gave �10,000 towards the cause and a public “fundraising brainstorming” session, hosted by the East Harling Sports and Social Club, saw more than 30 people offer help and arrange fundraising events around the area. Events planned include a garden party, quiz and sponsored bike ride and a stall was held in Norwich marketplace.

Ms Farrar said a new group of five trustees had now been set up and the charity was waiting for the legal system to run its course and land to change hands.

She added: “In the past we had trustees who were based in Sussex and so didn’t see what we do on a day-to-day basis so they weren’t best-placed to judge the needs of the charity. Now it means we can now apply for grants to better our work and take on more work.

“I think for the next few months we’re going to be recovering from the ordeal we’ve just been through and getting back to full running pace. Things were going very well and we were growing so I just hope that will carry on.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter