Adventure in the Himalayas to raise funds for Dereham animal shelter

Paul Hannett, deputy manager of the Cats Protection centre in Dereham

Paul Hannett, deputy manager of the Cats Protection centre in Dereham - Credit: Archant

Staff from a cat protection centre in Dereham are preparing for an adventure in the Himalayas to raise money for new cat shelters.

The team of three hopes to raise a minimum of £11,000 for the Dereham adoption centre before the trip in October and they have just crossed the £6,000 mark.

Taking part is deputy manager Paul Hannett, 42, care assistant Lauren Runacres, 26, and volunteer worker Jessica Thomson-Hammond, 26.

They will each pay for the expenses out of their own pockets and the money they raise will go toward redeveloping the shelter and replacing the current cat pens, which have been on the site for nearly 20 years, with more modern accommodation.

The centre is run by Cats Protection, a leading UK cat welfare charity and last year they found homes for 542 cats from the Dereham area, many of which were strays that had been rescued.


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The team's ambitious journey will start in Dharamshala in north India, home to the Dalai Lama. From there they will trek into the Himalayan Mountains and ascend the Dhauladhar Mountain Range and camp out at nearly 10,000ft above sea level.

They will then travel to Kanha National Park and spend time carrying out tiger conservation work, including helping to improve awareness of poachers.

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Mr Hannett, a former zoo keeper, said that visiting the Himalayas had always been a dream of his and called it a once in a lifetime event. He said: 'It's a chance to do something pretty phenomenal and raise money for the centre at the same time and part of the trip is doing tiger conservation work so we also get the chance to work with the big cats.'

He added that the fundraising process has been almost as challenging as planning the trip. He said: 'We've been raising money from personal sponsorship, corporate sponsorship, holding fundraising events such as quiz nights, craft fairs, doing sponsored stunts, such a zip wires, walks, leg waxes, having car boot stalls and attending fetes,'

The group's next fundraising drive will be on Mother's Day when they host a craft's fair at Longham Village Hall. They will depart for India October 7 – 19 and you can support their fundraising through Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dereham-Trekkers

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