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Two Norfolk charity workers step up for needy cats

29 Apr Two Norfolk charity workers step up for needy cats

Two Norfolk cat carers are walking three million steps to raise cash to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre.

Cat Care Assistants Leah Snowden and Catherine McCabe donned their walking boots and took to the footpaths of West Norfolk to launch a summer of fundraising events celebrating 30 years of caring for cats at the centre.

Leah said: “During lockdown, we have been working on split teams but we wanted to do something together to help raise much needed funds for the centre. We came up with the idea to challenge ourselves to complete three million steps between us, which seemed like a fun idea at the time. Now, when my feet ache and legs are sore, I’m not so sure.”

To help on their walks, Leah and Catherine have put together a playlist of themed songs, including motivational tracks such as Walking on Sunshine, These Boots Are Made for Walking and the inspirational You’ll Never Walk Alone. For those tougher moments, they have The Road to Hell.

Leah said: “Listening to music and enjoying the fantastic countryside around us has helped us to walk a combined total of nearly one million steps, which is an incredible start. In fact, we are a bit ahead of ourselves, which is good as I have injured my foot due to all the extra walking I’m doing.

“That has bought us a bit of breathing space but nothing is going to stop us now. Having each other doing the challenge together is great as encouragement and even some healthy competition. That and our mutual love of cats will get us to our target.”

Catherine has had a special walking companion for when Leah’s foot problems keep her off the road; her dog Poppy. Not wanting to be left behind, Leah signed up as a volunteer charity dog walker so now she has her own encouraging canine companion.

As well as walking in the countryside and villages near the centre, Catherine is heading north to walk 60 miles along Hadrian’s Wall. While the scenery will be spectacular, it does present its own challenges.

Catherine said: “It will be good to change it up a bit but training is tricky. The wall is in Northumberland, which is hilly and Norfolk is notoriously flat, but I’m trying to get in as many steps as I can before I tackle the wall.”

The determined pair hope to finish their challenge close to the centre’s birthday on 19 July. Donations to help needy cats in West Norfolk and messages of support can be posted at:

The Downham Market Adoption Centre has continued working throughout the pandemic, including rehoming and treating cats in need. To mark its 30th birthday, the centre has set a £30,000 fundraising target:

Lindsay Tempest, manager of Cats Protection Adoption Centre, said: “£30,000 is an ambitious target but the money raised will go towards saving many more cats and getting them that second chance and forever home.

“We’ve achieved so much in the past 30 years and, as the past year has shown, there isn’t any stopping us now. We are looking forward to the next 30 years.”