The Isle of Wight’s branch of the Cats Protection adoption centre is officially opening its revamped buildings this afternoon (Sunday) – and staff are hoping for a purr-fect day to celebrate.
The centre’s facilities have stood proudly on the Island since 1961, but with an increase in residents and staff alike the site, based in Ryde, was in need of urgent refurbishment.
WATCH: Isle of Wight Radio meets some of the centre’s furry friends
More than 100 feline friends have already been rehomed by the centre since the start of the year.
Among the changes are the conversion of the old managers’ bungalow, which has been upgraded into offices and a reception.
Manager of the centre Mel Read, who has been at the centre for 32 years, says the work was much needed:
“Where I’ve been here a long time, I have seen an awful lot of changes. At the moment we only have 60 volunteers but soon we’re going to be recruiting more people working within the community.
“We had no facilities, nowhere to sit, nowhere to take people for training. We [now] have a training room here. This means we can have children from schools in and learn about animal welfare…
“…We’ve got a lovely new reception. People used to stand up in a room. If you’re emotive and losing your cat and rehoming it there was nowhere to take people. But we’ve got those facilities no0w so we can offer that brilliant, better service.”
Malcolm Ross, the Mayor of Ryde, will cut the ribbon on the recently refurbished buildings at an open day event today.
He will be accompanied by the charity’s Chief Executive, James Yeates.
WATCH: Shadow and Lunar have since been rehomed (thanks to Sarah and Coen!)
Mel says everyone is welcome to come along for a sneak peek – and maybe to meet a few of its residents:
“There will be behind-the-scenes tours of the work that has been undertaken to transform the centre as well as refreshments, a chance to visit our on-site shop and a raffle to win a hamper full of chocolate goodies.
“All money raised will go towards helping the cats in our care.”
The open day will run from 12pm until 3pm, with the ribbon cutting ceremony taking place at 1pm.
For more information about the work of the Cats Protection’s Isle of Wight Adoption Centre, along with cats needing new homes, head here.