Published: 14:30, 30 July 2021
| Updated: 14:45, 30 July 2021
A much loved cat rescue has been gifted a van to help them get back on the road and help felines in need.
Wisteria Cat Rescue in Walderslade is run by Aldi manager, Billy Devitt, who took it upon himself to support cats and their owners during the first lockdown.
The 29-year-old said: "Last month we found ourselves struggling, our original Wisteria car had given up the go, after the passenger footwell looked like the local pond filled right up with water.
"With the vet runs increasing, sometimes we were having to do two trips to drop cats to the vets and then collect them.
"When trapping the animals we were having to rent vans which was costly and a huge inconvenience."
As a result Billy and the team began fundraising for a Wisteria Van to make life a little easier, however, the cat rescue suddenly received a phone call out of the blue.
Billy continued: "I received a call from one of our wonderful supporters Sharon Kingham.
"She told me that the previous night she had taken her husband, Steve, out for a curry and after he had a few beverages she had explained that we were looking for a van.
"Sharon said to Steve that they could give us their old van! Being huge animal lovers Steve agreed and at 8am the next day I was on the phone with Sharon absolutely humbled with their kindness."
The following week Billy was delighted to meet them and hear the wonderful journey the van had been on.
The vehicle, now nicknamed the Wistybulance, had served Sharon and Steve extremely well.
They had toured around the UK in the van acting as an Abba tribute, however, due to recent doings they had given it up so the van was sitting unused, so they thought what better way than for the cats to benefit.
Billy said: "I have a dream and they made that dream come true!"
Before the donation Billy and his team had been fundraising to buy a van themselves. However, thanks to Sharon and Steve's generosity, all the money that was already raised has paid for the vans full service, replacement tyres, the vehicle is also taxed and insured for a full year.
Billy continued: "On July 27, we had signs for the van written, I thank our late Jennifer and her family for this.
"She was a supporter of ours who then later adopted a cat from us, sadly she passed away so her family got together and created a fundraiser as Jennifer didn't want flowers.
"The money that was raised at her funeral service enabled us to have the van sign written.
"Together as a team of Wisteria Angels, you have enabled us to get back on the road which means we can help more cats.
"I love you all lots and thank each and everyone of you, I’m beyond grateful, humbled and taken back."
Wisteria Cat Rescue are also fundraising for a second van which they hope to have in the near feature, you can donate here.
If you see the Wistybulance out and about, the cat rescue have asked people to take a picture and pop it onto their community page here.