Friends collect enough food to feed all the rescue pets at the RSPCA’s Block Fen centre in Wimblington

Goods and Hamper presentation at the RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre Wimblington March'Presentation of Goods and Large Hamper) at the Centre, Back Row LtoR, Pauline Hinson, Kirstyn Gaunt (Deputy Manager at Block Fen), Debbie Elliott, Lynn Holme'Front LtoR, Michele Barrago (with Louise), Serena Moore (with Mike), Tiffany Saunders (withe Bebe).
Goods and Hamper presentation at the RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre Wimblington March'Presentation of Goods and Large Hamper) at the Centre, Back Row LtoR, Pauline Hinson, Kirstyn Gaunt (Deputy Manager at Block Fen), Debbie Elliott, Lynn Holme'Front LtoR, Michele Barrago (with Louise), Serena Moore (with Mike), Tiffany Saunders (withe Bebe).

Animals at the RSPCA Centre at Block Fen will be dining in style this festive season thanks to the generosity of a group of animal-loving friends.

Debbie Elliott and her work colleague Paul Parks came up with the idea of collecting food and treats for the animals at the rescue centre in Wimblington back in September when Paul lost his dog, Paddy.

“We were talking about all the pets we have lost and decided it would be nice to do something for other animals in their memory. I came up with the idea of collecting food for the Block Fen centre and it grew from there,” said Debbie.

Three of her friends from Chatteris: Lynn Holmes, Michelle Barigo and Pauline Hinson also decided to join in and before they knew it the group had managed to collect enough food and treats to feed every animal at Block Fen for Christmas Day and Boxing day.

On Friday they went along to the centre to present a hamper of goodies and all the boxes of food collected. They also took along baubles with the names of the pets they have lost over the years including Debbie’s own German Shepherd dog Zack, who died four years ago, to hang on the centre’s Christmas tree.

“It started out as something quite small and very quickly got quite big - we had enough food to feed all the dogs, cats and rabbits for two days, plus there were treats, beds, coats and other items too,” said Debbie, who was helped by her partner Matthew Parry with gathering everything up.

Her parents, Ann and Graham Elliott, did not want the staff to miss it out on the treats and they took along a special Christmas cake for them to enjoy.

“It was really lovely to go along and hand over all the stuff. We were then treated to a tour of the centre by the deputy manager, Kirstyn Gaunt, who explained how everything worked - it really was a lovely day,” said Debbie.

She added: “I have done things for other animal charities in the past and I have told Block Fen I will probably do this again next year but open it to anyone who would like to donate. They do such a great job at the centre, the animals are so well looked after and they never give up trying to find them all a new home.”