PACT animal sanctuary holds ‘great hopes’ for new Diss charity shop

From left: Michelle Clarke, Kate Bambridge, Steve Poole, Angela Pugh and George Rockingham cut the ribbon to open the new PACT charity shop in Diss.
From left: Michelle Clarke, Kate Bambridge, Steve Poole, Angela Pugh and George Rockingham cut the ribbon to open the new PACT charity shop in Diss.
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The co-founder of a Norfolk-based animal sanctuary says he has ’great hopes’ for the charity’s new shop which opened in the Diss Market Place in the past week.

Members of staff at the new People for Animal Care Trust (PACT) charity shop cut the ribbon on the store front last Friday morning, as the organisation looks to expand its fundraising for the sanctuary in Hingham, which claims to be the largest ‘all animal’ safe haven in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Based inside the former home of Johnson Cleaners, the store is now encouraging people to volunteer their services. The organisation says that the profits from its charity shops funded around 40 per cent of the costs of running the sanctuary.

George Rockingham, who co-founded the charity with his wife Chris, said although there were already numerous charity shops in the town centre, he felt the fact they were a long-running local cause would appeal to people, and the store’s location within the Heritage Triangle area would enable them to more easily spread awareness.

He told the Diss Express: “What Diss is doing with the Heritage Triangle is really going to help.

“One, because we are in an ideal situation, and two, the more people who know about the Heritage Triangle and the nice shops that are here, the more people are going to come past us to get to it.

“I’ve got great hopes for this place. I think it’s going to go quite well.

“The beauty of PACT is you are actually saving lives.

“Every kennel we have a dog in, as soon as a dog goes, another one is in there within a week. The situation is that bad — everyone wants to get rid of their animals.

“It’s a big job and we are going to need all the help that we can get.

“The fact that there were 10-15 people waiting to come in (at the opening) proves we have gotten the word around.”

Mr Rockingham stated that they were looking for around eight to ten volunteers to run the shop, and urged anybody interested to come in, adding: “Without the shops, we would be lost.”

For additional details about the PACT animal and wildlife sanctuary, please go to the charity’s website at www.pactsanctuary.org