Norwich branch of charity receives welcome boost

Although cute and cuddly these small balls of fur are in need of a home and someone to love them.

They are two of an increasing number of kittens and cats that are being given up across the city and county as victims of the economic climate.

But despite this, the Norwich branch of Cats Protection was able to smile as it received a financial boost.

The charity was one of the latest to benefit from Waitrose's Community Matters Collection – a scheme that allows customers to decide the proportion of �1,000 funding to be spread between three charities.

The Norwich branch of Cats Protection was chosen to be one of the selected charities at the supermarket's Eaton store, and has now received �333.

The charity's Norwich co-ordinator Maureen Bennett, said: 'I would like to thank everyone involved in making this possible.

'It is a fantastic scheme, I just wish more of these companies would do something like this.

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'It will make a lot of difference as we are quite a small branch and you can stand on the street all day and collect �70.'

The national charity helps to rehome cats and promote neutering, with assistance available for those on benefits to help cover the fee.

There are branches across the country, but although the Norwich one has been running for the last four years, Mrs Bennett said it has taken two years to get fully set up. In June it opened a fundraising shop in Plumstead Road, but the branch does not have its own rehoming centre.

Three volunteers help to temporarily look after cats and kittens, while they also work closely with the charity's adoption centre in Dereham, as well as the RSPCA.

Mrs Bennett was happy to say that five have been rehomed in the last fortnight, however the current financial climate has seen more people giving up their cats and fewer adopting them or donating money.

Paul Hammond, acting manager at the Dereham centre, said the number of people giving cats up was 'unreal', with 300 currently on the waiting list.

He said: 'I have been here for 11 years and it is the worst year I have known. Most cats are given up because the owners can't afford vet treatment, but the number of people looking for them seems to be diminishing too.'

He added that they are discouraging people joining the waiting list but helping with neutering as they were very unlikely to be able to get through the list.

To volunteer for the Norwich branch or help rehome a cat call 0845 4941900.

Are you doing something to raise money for a Norwich charity? Call reporter Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email