Staff from Dereham cats shelter head off on a Himalayan adventure

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

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

Two members of staff from a cat protection centre in Dereham are setting off on an adventure in the Himalayas as part of a major push to raise money for new cat shelters.

The team at Dereham's Cats Protection have spent most of the year finding unique ways to raise £11,000 so they can replace shelters which have been on site for almost 20 years.

These fundraisers have included craft fairs, quiz nights and even a skydive but none have been as ambitious as the trek in the Himalayas.

Deputy manager Paul Hannett, 42, and volunteer worker Jessica Thomson-Hammond, 26, are paying all of their own expenses so that the sponsorship money can go towards the new shelters.

The pair'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.

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

'We're very excited at the moment with the excitement heightened by a few nerves and a little apprehension,' said Mr Hannett.

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'The trip has been in the planning for about 18 months and suddenly we're about to go, it all still seems a little unreal.

'I'm looking forward to the travel within India, we'll be covering in the region of 3,000km within India and that should provide an incredible experience and a real insight into a totally different culture.'

The two trekkers have already managed to raise £7,410 which, when combined with the other fund raising events, means that they have exceeded their initial target.

Speaking of his biggest memories so far Mr Hannett said: 'Has to be Zip World High Velocity in Bethesda, North Wales. Travelling down the world's fastest zip wire was truly one of the most exciting experiences of my life, never to be forgotten. I think the whole experience has been very satisfying, still not sure how we've managed it, but we've done it.'

The trekkers depart on October 7. If you wish to support them then you can donate via their Just Giving page.

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