Three girls from Nottinghamshire are seeking your help to raise funds to ease the plight a cat welfare charity on the Greek island of Skiathos.

Helen Bennett, Becky Clarke and Cara Callingham are walking 22 miles from the Cat and Fiddle (Cheshire) to Ilam, in Helen and Becky’s home county of Derbyshire, in support of the Skiathos Cat Welfare Association, a Greek charity looking after the needs of the island’s cats and seeking a new home in which to continue their valuable work.

Skiathos Cat Wefare Association

The charity cares for over 100 cats on site (photo by kind permission of SCWA)

Sharon Hewing began to help the island’s stray cat population in 2005 founding the SCWA two years later. Although SCWA is neither a cat shelter nor sanctuary, Sharon cares for many of the cats with disabilities, including blindness, that would not survive on the streets.

Skiathos Cat Welfare Association

Visitors to the island help the charity to look after the cats (photo by kind permission of SCWA)

Skiatos Cat Welfare Association

Skiathos has a soaring stray cat population (photo by kind permission of SCWA)

But with the cat population soaring, neutering is the charity’s number one priority. Through the summer season many visitors to Skiathos volunteer to help look after the cats and vets donate their services to neuter as many cats as possible. Since 2005 over 5000 cats have been neutered saving many more unwanted kittens from being born into a life of hardship. In 2017 alone over 600 cats were neutered.

Skiathos Cat Welfare Association

Vets have neutered over 5000 cats on the island (photo by kind permission of SCWA)

Around the island volunteers also feed in excess of 300 cats, a huge amount of food which takes up the majority of the charity’s regular donations.

Skiathos Cat Welfare Association

Missy, one of the blind cats cared for by the charity (photo by kind permission of SCWA)

Due to sad and unforeseen circumstances the Skiathos Cat Welfare Association are looking to relocate the charity and its cats to a suitable area in Skiathos, which is safe and secure. This will take a huge amount of funds to buy land, funds which sadly the SCWA does not have. They hope soon to be able to raise the profile of the charity and encourage large scale donations to move forward to a secure future for the stray cats.

Helen, Becky and Cara are to walk the 22 miles from Cat and Fiddle to Ilam, dressed as cats, on Saturday 17th February. They will be collecting donations along the way, all donations will be most welcome. Please look out for them and give them your support.

Skiathos Cat Welfare Association

Feeding time! (photo by kind permission of SCWA)

Please also visit the SCWA website http://www.skiathos-cats.org for more information on the work of the charity and https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helen-bennett to make a donation.