FOR more than 40 years, Maria Harrison has worked tirelessly to improve the welfare of cats within South Tyneside.
Through her shelter, Willows Cat Adoption Centre, in Wantage Street, South Shields, she has rescued countless strays, given them emergency treatment and found them loving new homes.
Now it is hoped that her efforts will be recognised after she was nominated for Role Model of the Year in the Pride of South Tyneside awards.
The 59-year-old, of Tileshed Lane, Boldon, said: “I’m absolutely astonished – this is such a lovely thing, and I’m so pleased that my work has been recognised in this way.”
She was nominated by Linda Grierson, who first met Maria a number of years ago, after a number of stray cats found refuge in her garden.