A cat-loving volunteer is going vegan to raise money for needy felines.
Nicole Brand, 19, from Oswaldtwistle, works one day a week in the Friends of the Cats charity shop on Burnley Road, Accrington alongside Andy Richards, who runs the charity and has dedicated his life to rescuing stray or abandoned moggies.
Now Nicole, who lives on St Andrews Close with her boyfriend of five years, is showing her dedication to her four-legged friends in her own way, by giving up eating animal products for the whole of February.
She explained: “When I saw the work Andy does, I was amazed. I realised how little funds the charity has and I wanted to help, but I didn’t want to do the regular stuff. I wanted a challenge.”
Nicole, who studies psychology at Blackburn University and works part-time in Asda Accrington, is finding the month-long challenge tough.
She explained: “It’s going okay - I have good days and bad, sometimes I wake up and really just crave chicken.
“Milk I don’t miss at all - I’ve replaced it with almond milk, but I really miss meat and eggs - cake is a big thing.”
Nicole has tried making her own vegan cakes, but said it’s ‘not the same’ and she misses being able to go into any shop and pick up what she would like without thinking about the ingredients.
She said that being surrounded by food at work in the supermarket is a challenge, adding: “It’s pretty difficult seeing all the meat sat there, but I think being vegan I’ve noticed things that I usually wouldn’t eat, like different vegetables and types of beans. I haven’t been out for a meal yet but I am going to challenge myself and do that in the next week, see what I can eat.
“Every food that I’m not allowed to have sounds so amazing now I can’t have it. When the challenge is finished I’ll probably have a chicken roast dinner with some ice cream for dessert.”
Nicole has already generated £115 in sponsorship, with friends, family and supporters of Friend of Cats chipping in, and she provides updates on her gofundme page. She hopes to raise ‘as much as possible’ to help with vets bills, adding: “Many of the cats we get are injured, or need resocialising. Then there’s injections and neutering.
“We have seven cats at the moment - three living with Andy and four with fosterers. They all need help.” To support Nicole, visit www.gofundme.com/nicolegoesvegan .