Worthing Cat Welfare Trust was started 28 years ago by Iris Green and myself, with a lot of help and support from Carole, Sharon, Tina and Carole’s Mum, who bought us a van, so that Carole (our Welfare officer at that time) could carry on with her important work.
At that time we had 40 cats in our care and the princely sum of £40! We did car boot sales and any other fundraising that would help. We paid for cat food and vet bills ourselves. Carla Lane opened our first charity shop in Brighton Road, which proved to be very successful and started us out on the path to where we are today.
We couldn’t have done any of it without our band of fosterers, volunteers and loyal supporters. We all kept each other going through the ups and downs and, through sheer hard work and determination, have become the successful charity that we are today. We are so lucky and appreciate all you do for us.
We also have new Trustees and committee members, whose enthusiasm inspires us all.
We have an excellent network of temporary foster homes, which really equates to a ‘virtual sanctuary’ without the ruinous costs of setting up our own establishment. We will carry on with the excellent job that we do and that is rescuing and rehoming cats and kittens in and around the Worthing area.
Sandra Collins – WCWT Co-Founder
We exist to provide and finance a safe and caring environment for abandoned, unwanted and distressed cats and kittens in the Worthing area, to arrange veterinary care, neutering, microchipping and to find loving, permanent homes wherever possible.
The charity was formed in July 1995, granted charity status in October 1995 and consists of a team of experienced and professional carers watched over and supported by a board of trustees.
Prior to re-homing, our cats are cared for in a number of shelters (one of which is dedicated to mums & kittens) and by a number of foster-carers, who take them in as part of the family. We also have a location for cats, who are unfortunately unsuitable for re-homing due to old age, illness or severe trauma, in order that they can spend the rest of their lives in safety and tranquillity.
Meet The WCWT Team
Joss Loader – Chairman
Joss joined WCWT in August 2021 when she started fostering for the charity. She became a trustee in September 2022 and was elected as Chair at the AGM in September 2023.
Joss remembers WCWT’s early days, when Iris and Sandra set up the charity with just 40 cats and £40 in the bank! She was the Worthing Herald series’ news editor at the time, and Iris and Joss had many discussions. by way of support, Joss published many articles as this incredible charity established itself and then went from strength to strength.
Meanwhile, Joss has adopted five cats over the years from WCWT – including two lovely lads that she adopted recently.
Professionally, Joss moved on from journalism after the birth of her daughter and she is now a PR consultant as well as serving as an Independent Adur district councillor for Shoreham Beach.
Joss is also a trustee of the Shoreham & Adur Foodbank and a governor at Sir Robert Woodard Academy.
Her key objectives include securing WCWT’s financial future and continuing the excellent standards of animal care and welfare, which are second to none.
Sandra Collins – Co-Founder
Chairperson between 2017 and 2020, and a Co-Founder way back in 1995, I have been involved with practically every aspect of this charity over the years.
My long-term contribution to WCWT has been fostering Mums and Kittens in dedicated maternity pens here at my own home in Findon Valley. Finding the vital finances that underpin our rescue and welfare work has also absorbed plenty of my (and my husband’s) time over the years.
Christine Jones – Treasurer
In late 2016, my husband and I were delighted to welcome two little bundles of fun into our lives, adopted from WCWT.
Fast forward two years and I wondered if I could help the charity in any way and use my skills from when I was Finance Manager at an airport. I volunteered to take on the role of Treasurer and now have the privilege of working with a fabulous team who are both passionate and dedicated to the welfare of cats in our area.
Jackie Riddles – Rescue & Welfare Officer
I started with WCWT as a fosterer when it was first set up by Iris and Sandra. When the charity had their first shop in Worthing town centre, there was a vacancy for a Deputy Manager, so I applied and was given the job. I loved the challenge and eventually became Manager there.
For many years now I have been our Rescue and Welfare Officer. I meet lots of lovely people and I love the feeling of satisfaction that comes from taking in needy cats, nurturing them and seeing them re-homed with a caring family in their ‘forever home’.
Germaine Conroy-Schneider – Rescue & Welfare Officer and Lost & Found Coordinator
Being a real cat lover, I became involved with looking for feline fugitives a few years ago and its a “hobby” that grows into a complete way of life! Currently, I have five of my own and when one of them vanished a while back, I realized the importance of searching in a systematic and thorough way.
Losing a pet is a time of intense stress and misery for owners, but what satisfaction I get when I track Puss down and see the look of joy when reunion time comes.
Ana Sales – Adoptions Coordinator
I always had the dream of working with animals, but followed a different path and ended up with a degree in Civil Engineering! It was like destiny had brought me to England for it to be fulfilled and it was through my work at a cattery that I started my relationship with WCWT, dealing mostly with Jackie Riddles.
Being the Adoptions Coordinator involves organising the whole adoption process for the cats in our care when they are ready for adoption, so that we find them the best forever homes. It also involves guiding the adopters towards the cats that better suit their home environment. For many different reasons sometimes, the preferred cat may not always be the most suitable one.
It all means very long hours and hard work, but it’s very rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Miriam Lopez – Fostering Officer
From an early age I welcomed rescue pets into my family home. I felt very lucky experiencing the joy of helping animals in need and discovering how, in many ways, the animals rescue us. With a qualification in Media Production and many years of experience, I approached WCWT and started editing videos to give a voice to some of the cats waiting to be adopted.
I am studying to become a professional Cat Behaviourist and I am very happy that my knowledge and expertise contributes to the process of helping our most vulnerable cats to find suitable forever homes.
Georgina Woolley – Administration Officer
Animal welfare has always been a subject close to my heart and when I got involved in adopting rescue cats of my own, I felt I wanted to do much more … along came the WCWT and I have been very fortunate ever since to assist this charity in their valuable work in helping all those cats in real need.
Key to my role is maintaining the central database of our rescued and rehomed cats, including our Golden Oldies and supported cats. I also act as the Purchasing Coordinator for the Golden Oldies 12 Scheme, which is a way for the charity to reduce the heavy costs involved in buying in specialist diets.
Iris Green – Co-Founder
WCWT was started in 1995 by Sandra Collins and myself after many years’ experience working with another cat charity. We didn’t do it on our own, because a number of other volunteers came with us.
I was in the Chair until 2016 when I had to resign through ill health but I continue to look after my cats in a pen and indoors and do various other jobs connected with the charity, though not quite as many as I did before!
I joined WCWT in the summer of 2017 and was pleased to serve as Chairman between 2020 and 2023.
My current duties include administering our subsidised neutering and Arm’s Length adoption schemes. I am also one of our squad of home-checkers, covering those locations further afield from the Worthing coastal area.
Producing our twice-yearly newsletter is my other main task.
Lucy Todd – Website Manager
I saw an article about WCWT in a local magazine in 2018, and they were asking for admin assistance so decided to see if I could be of any help.
I love cats, and am passionate about animal welfare so I think this is a very worthwhile use of my free time!