AN animal rescue centre has built a new, modern cattery with help from a grant secured through the Cash for Charities campaign.

St Giles Animal Rescue Centre received £5,407.29 in December after being nominated by readers of Newquest’s Somerset titles, including the Chard and Ilminster News.

The money came from the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of Newsquest’s parent company.

St Giles, which is based in Wrantage, used its share of the money to equip the new pens and help cover the costs of installing its electrics and flooring.

It also helped cover the costs of making the new facility accessible for the charity’s disabled and elderly clients.

The cattery was opened by florist Grace Haskins and her dog Luna, a pet rescue ambassador, on May 14.

Around £1,700 from its Cash for Charities grant has been set aside to build a roof between the existing cattery and the new block.

Jenny Green, a St Giles fundraising volunteer and the former chair of trustees, said: “Last year, coming out of lockdown, we had so many cats coming into the cattery before the new one was completed – we were full up. There was an enormous number of them.

“Now, we can board and rescue so many more. We can now take in a lot more cats, including pregnant cats and cats with kittens.”

Chard & Ilminster News: The new cattery opened in May. Picture: St Giles Animal Rescue CentreThe new cattery opened in May. Picture: St Giles Animal Rescue Centre

She added: “The timing couldn’t have been better. Donations dropped off during lockdown and we were very grateful for grants.”

Donations – including one from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – helped St Giles continue its work during the pandemic, alongside the launch of an online shop.

“We were quite savvy,” said Jenny.

“The moment lockdown was announced in March 2020, we realised we wouldn’t be able to hold our big fundraising events.

“There were fewer opportunities for us to hold and attend events, so we switched everything online to keep funds coming in.”

Jan Brooks, St Giles’ chair of trustees, added: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and myself, can I say a huge thank you for the very generous amount of money we were awarded.

“I hope you feel that we have put the money to good use in our fight to make sure our rescue animals, and indeed all animals, get the best chance of a happy and fulfilled life.”

St Giles is now able to host its large fundraising events again, including its Annual Fun Dog Show, which will take place on Saturday, September 11.

The event will be held at Hatch Beauchamp Playing Fields between 11am and 4pm and feature plenty of classes, stalls, entertainment, food, and refeshments. 

The Cash for Charities campaign has re-launched this year, with a share of £16,000 made available to local charities as part of £128,000 across the UK.

Making a nomination could not be easier.

Simply log on to and fill in your nomination form.

Or you can write to us, confirming the name and address of the charity you’d like to nominate and why to: Readers’ Choice Cash For Charity Nominations, Tangier Central, Castle St, Taunton, TA1 4AS by the closing date of Sunday, September 11, 2022.

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Qualifying Criteria:
• Applicants must be registered charities.

• Applicants must not have received a grant from us within the last two years
• Preference to be given to projects supporting those in our communities who are overlooked or under-served.

Grants will not be awarded for:

• Salaries, professional fees, or day-to-day running or maintenance costs of the charity (but this does not exclude such expenses were essential to a specific project)

• General appeals as opposed to specific projects or items of equipment

• Projects that do not bring benefits to our local communities

• Political or religious objectives, or projects that discriminate in favour of particular ethnic or religious groups (but this does not exclude religious organisations offering charitable support to the sick or needy without discrimination)

• State or privately run schools (other than special needs)

• Hospitals (other than hospices)

• Community Interest Companies that are not registered charities.