Warm-hearted firms in the North East construction sector have ‘rolled over’ to help upgrade Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter in its 125th anniversary year.

Following a rallying call from Angela Carney, managing director at Carney Consultancy and director at Carney CDM, a number of organisations offered their services free of charge.

They include construction students from Tyne Met College, Applebridge Construction, Carney Consultancy and Rainton Construction, who were made aware of the project by Stuart Miller, director at Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) – North East.

Chris Bray, CEO at Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter, said: “The shelter has never been busier with people helping onsite and preparing us for the future. We were established 125 years ago and with a little help from our friends we hope to be here for many years to come.

“The shelter is home not just to cats and dogs but rabbits, horses, pigs, several donkeys and Houdini the goat! We try to make their stay is as comfortable as possible while looking for permanent homes.

“Thanks to Angela and her contacts, we have had unbelievable support from local companies and it is great to see construction students at Tyne Met College gaining real life work experience as they decorate the shelter’s meeting spaces.

“Rainton Construction and Applebridge Construction very kindly offered to assist with the maintenance and upgrade to a road and car park, which would have cost us over £15,000 if we had gone out to tender. It really was in such poor condition and with many of our visitors either elderly or with young families, it was always upsetting that the car park was not a positive first impression of the shelter.  The care we give animals is first class, we will soon have a first-class car park to go with it!

“A huge thanks to all who have donated their time, resource and energy to help us.”

Angela Carney, managing director at Carney Consultancy, said: “I am a huge animal lover and a great admirer of the work done at the shelter. I wanted to assist with the upgrade and refurbishments and I am delighted that we have a mix of time served tradespeople and college students all collaborating on the project, without charge.”

Andy Ray, group operations director at Applebridge Construction, said: “We have worked with the shelter for many years and when Angela approached us to help with the car park, we were very happy to offer our services.

“Initially, we did some survey work and identified a number of pot holes and divots and will be levelling the road and making it useable for the public.

“We were very keen to get our apprentices involved in this project. We employ around 50 of them and a project like this gives them very useful, real-life, work experience.”

Sam Ogle, Tyne Metropolitan College, said: “Allowing our learners to use and develop their construction skills at a live, local project, is so important in preparing them to be industry-ready. We are keen to have an ongoing relationship with Newcastle Dog and Cat shelter and looking forward to seeing it go from strength to strength in its very valuable work.”