The Arbroath and Carnoustie Cats Protection Adoption Centre belongs to the popular national charity, Cats Protection, which is one of the UK’s leading feline welfare charities and looks to help and re-home cats across the UK.
The Angus based development, managed by leading care and housing provider, Bield, began their charitable work nine months ago after a visit from a representative of Cats Protection, who brought gifts of bookmarks and information leaflets.
Tenants didn’t need much persuasion from Helen Calder, a volunteer at Clyde Court, to start a knitting class every Wednesday in order to help the non-profit organisation which has an adoption centre near the development.
So far, 12 blankets have been donated, ensuring the feline residents have been kept cosy whilst they await adoption and for those who are adopted, the blankets have been an aid in easing the transition from the centre to the cat’s new home.
The centre, which last year found homes 475 cats and kittens, is said to be delighted by the generous donations made by Clyde Court.
Sharyn Wood, Branch Co-ordinator at the Arbroath Protection and Adoption Centre, said: “After the visit to Clyde Court to talk about our work, we didn’t expect the knitting class to be set up. It was a lovely bonus for us and so different from the usual donations, such as food.
“We have been able to give each cat that is re-homed a blanket which will already have their own scent on it and so will help them settle in and adjust to life at their new home.
“It’s a great feeling for us to be able to give that little bit extra, not only to the cats but to their new owners to help ensure a smooth transition when going into a new home.”
Keen to enrich the lives of tenants in the development, Helen opened the class up to all abilities, meaning that any tenants keen to take part could do so whatever their skill set.
Taking it one step at a time, the group knit their own individual squares which Helen then sews together to make a blanket.
Helen said: “The class isn’t all about knitting; there is always a cup of tea and a biscuit, a slice of birthday cake if someone is celebrating that week and sometimes even a cheeky wee glass of wine.
“It’s great fun having tenants come to the class for a knit and natter and we very much hope to keep going with the project.”
The knitting class runs alongside Bield’s ‘Free to Be’ philosophy, which lets people make their own choices about how they live their lives while being there to support them when they need it.
Jeanette Semple, Manager at Clyde Court, has seen the great benefits that the knitting class has had, recognising that the class is a great opportunity for tenants to socialise with others in the development.
She added: “Helen has been great at setting up the class and encouraging tenants to come along.
“At Bield, we are constantly looking for ways that we can ensure tenants are living life to the full and so it is really great to see so many mixing and socialising whilst joining in with the knitting.
“I am sure that everyone is keen to keep the knitting going as there are already lots of squares needing sewn together.”
Bield is a registered charity that came from humble beginnings, starting out with just one development in Bo’ness to become a major of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 23 local authority areas.