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Cats Protection volunteer who has dedicated 15 years to the welfare of cats is awarded ADCH Special Recognition Award 2018

27 April 2018
Cats Protection volunteer who has dedicated 15 years to the welfare of cats is awarded ADCH Special Recognition Award 2018

A Cats Protection volunteer who has dedicated the last 15 years working to improve the welfare of cats has received the Special Recognition Award from the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH).

Graham Hoult, Branch Co-ordinator at Cats Protection’s Wharfe Valley Branch in Leeds, has worked tirelessly to improve cat welfare, providing vital support over the years to the charity.

The Petplan and ADCH Animal Charity Awards were held on Wednesday night, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

The awards celebrated outstanding animal charities and individuals who go above and beyond to help animals in need. Graham was sadly unable to attend the ceremony but Cats Protection’s Branch Development Manager Bob Orange was there to pick up the award from ADCH Chairman Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea, on his behalf in front of a packed audience consisting of fellow peers and colleagues who all work for animal rescues across the country and beyond.

Graham, alongside his wife Sylvia, has rescued and rehomed countless numbers of cats during his time with Cats Protection, including rescuing some very ill cats from a multi-cat household in Leeds which prompted Graham to take further action to help the growing number of people who feel neglected themselves, and are not given enough support with pets in the household.

Graham brought together six animal charities and spoke to every elected member of the Leeds City Council chamber, to address the need for partnership working to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership amongst tenants and housing staff. Suggestions included education on neutering and amending tenancy agreements to place a limit on the number of pets in each property.

Due to Graham’s persistence and forward thinking, Wharfe Valley Cats Protection was able to gain access to every housing office across the city, and a two-year programme of training dates was created to educate tenants and housing staff on animal welfare and wellbeing. The two now work together in a programme that wouldn’t have come about if it wasn’t for the hard work of Graham and his team.

Cats Protection’s Branch Development Manager Bob Orange, who nominated Graham for the award, said: “Graham, together with his wife Sylvia, is so deserving of this award. They are both fantastic ambassadors for Cats Protection and have devoted the last 15 years to supporting the charity in its work. Under Graham and Sylvia’s leadership, our Wharfe Valley Branch consistently helps huge numbers of cats and provides education about cat welfare to many in the local community. Their energy and proactive approach has enabled the branch to establish strong partnerships with a wide range of organisations who now work together to help cats and change attitudes to cat welfare.”

Claire Horton, ADCH Chairman, said: "There have been so many worthy nominations this year, so it's not easy for the judges to pick a winner for this award. But this year, our winner was seen by all of them as truly outstanding, personifying all that’s important about improving welfare for animals and also demonstrating what sheer dedication and determination can achieve.

"Graham has shown real vision and foresight in his work. Developing and maintaining resilience in what is a challenging area of animal welfare, he has created long lasting relationships, educating tenants and housing staff, focussing on the need for working in partnership to raise awareness of animal welfare and so benefiting all who are involved. The programme that has come out of his passion truly works for the city, the community, its people and most importantly its animals.”

For media enquiries please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741911 or by emailing media.office@cats.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, helping around 200,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

  • Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

  • Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.

  • More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk

  • The Petplan and ADCH Animal Charity Awards are now in their sixth year but this is only the third Special Recognition Award to be handed out.

  • Petplan has worked closely with animal rehoming centres for over 30 years and these awards provide an opportunity to recognise the dedication and commitment of charities.

  • Other awards presented at the ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole were Animal Charity Volunteer of the Year, Animal Charity Employee of the Year and Animal Charity Team of the Year.

  • The ADCH was founded in 1985 with the purpose of developing good practice in the rescue and rehoming of dogs and cats.

  • ADCH now has over 120 members representing dog and cat rescue and rehoming organisations, large and small, across the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

  • The ADCH 2018 Conference is being held on 25 and 26 April, hosted by Battersea at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.