Campaign begins to save TACT

Two Lisburn animal lovers who are attempting to keep the TACT animal centre in Crumlin open have launched their campaign to save the shelter from possible closure.

Beverly Brown from the Knockmore Road and Julie Fitzsimmons from the Belsize Road are trying to raise around £7000 from a charity gala ball ‘A Night at the Theatre’ so that the animal welfare work can continue.

The ball takes place on May 30 at the Ramada Plaza with special guest Peter Corry who will be singing some of his classic songs from the musicals.

The evening will also include a drinks reception, three course dinner and prize draw and compere will be Pete Snodden from Cool FM. The ticket price is £45 per person and a table of 10 is £450.

The TACT centre , Talnotry Avian Care Trust, has saved thousands of sick and abandoned animals since it was founded 30 years ago by Patricia Nevines.

It currently cares for around 150 stricken animals, including swans, ferrets and rabbits.

Fears are that the shelter could be forced to close after funding was withdrawn and Patricia is set to retire in the summer.

Patricia, turns 80 this Spring, and wants to lease out the property to anyone who wants to continue the work of the centre.

It takes up to £1,000 a week to keep the centre running largely financed by Patricia herself.

Julie and Beverley got involved in the campaign after Patricia took in a stranded hedgehog Julie had found in her garden.

“We were surprised just how old that Patricia is,” said Beverley. “She is so full of life and feisty and will not turn any animal away. This is her legacy and the work that she has done is truly amazing. It would be great to follow that legacy.

“We were really impressed with what we saw when we visited the centre. The centre needs as much as £1000 a week to keep it running. Patrica lives for her animals and it would be shame that it may close.

“When we heard about the TACT centre Julie who works in the Ramada helps charities to put on large fundraising events so she decided to put her skills to use to help TACT, organising A Night At The Theatre, gala evening in May. Tickets for the gala ball, can be got from the Ramada Plaza Belfast.