In 1925 Mrs Margaret Payne set up a small cat’s shelter to help the stray cats of Ipswich and surrounding areas. The scope of the operation gradually grew over the years and her daughter, Mrs Daphne Parmenter, continued her mother’s hard work until her death in 2012.

We operate as a charity and rely entirely on the generosity of benefactors, receiving no state aid. As a local charity with our roots long established in the community we have been fortunate enough to receive a number of generous donations and legacies over the years, allowing us to own the freehold of our Centre and look forward to the future. 

Members of the Chaplin family have long been involved in the work of the Centre with Trustee Ethel Watling passing on her role to her daughter Monica Chaplin in the 1970’s. Her husband Fred became Chairman and in turn handed this role on to his nephew Ben. Ben is joined as a current Trustee by his Mother Anne and in 2021 Fred’s son Nick was appointed into the new role of CEO to take the charity forward, alongside our long standing Centre Manager Susanne and their loyal and dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

As well as our exciting plans to replace the Cat Pens we are modernising the shop and Clinic facility and are seeking to further increase the funding available to subsidise the cost of Vets fees for the increasing number of pet owners that find them difficult to afford. Ultimately we would like to increase our capacity for helping homeless cats but are constrained by the size of our Centre and would have to find a second site to allow this dream to become reality.

The formal name of the charity was changed in August 2022 to Animal Welfare Suffolk as this better describes how we view our operations going forward. The name Ipswich and District Animal Welfare Centre is retained and is used to describe the Centre still located in Cauldwell Hall Road in Ipswich. This will remain the Headquarters of the charity whether other premises are developed or not. It is very important to us to retain our roots in this part of Ipswich where many of our loyal long term supporters