Friday, September 16, 2011

Would you be more interested in flexible volunteering?

We realise most people are incredibly busy nowadays, and committing to turn up regularly may be a serious difficulty. 

Obviously our regular volunteers do have to skip sessions sometimes too when they need to fit in vets' appointments, holidays and so on (we're not slave drivers!)

If you think you can probably only manage to volunteer occasionally, there are still lots of useful things you can get involved with.

We need the regular volunteers to make it possible to stay open at the advertised times, but there are plenty of back-room tasks which can be started or stopped depending on the number of helpers available.

Behind the person at the till there is a busy team who sort, clean, price and shelve. If they can stack up plenty of items all priced and ready on days when many volunteers are available, one helper can keep up with the shelf-filling when we're short-staffed.

Extra helpers on a Sunday, when sales are comparatively slow, can really benefit the following weekdays by making it possible for Monday to open fully stocked and looking good.

We normally average over £20 per volunteer per hour for this collection, which comes round at the end of April each year. If you don't have time to do anything else in the year, just two hours volunteering would mean £40 we wouldn't otherwise have.

One-off stalls and events
Individual jumble, car-boot or table-top sales can raise useful amounts, although they need a fair bit of organisation and some way of transporting sales items.

Annual Dog Show
We need a team of people for the basic organisation, but there are plenty of useful things that can be done on the day itself if you don't have time to come to any pre-planning meetings.

If you might be interested, email

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Veterinary treatment again

We have to get our fundraising up to a level where we can give more help to owners who honestly can't afford the cost of treatment. Unless we can get on top of this, our rehoming effort is almost pointless, while animals who do have homes are dying because there's no way we can provide enough help to save their lives.

Every day our phone line gets desperate, crying owners that we can't help because they are way outside our area or who need far more help with the cost than we can possibly give.

We can't insist these animals are signed over to us, because that would still leave us with huge treatment costs we can't afford to cover. Some of the owners who come asking for help could raise the money if they really tried, but most of them simply don't have it and have no way to borrow because their income's so low they're not good credit risks. The same people are least likely to be able to afford pet insurance, or to have organised pre-registration with the PDSA or with our own clinic.

We can do our best to educate people about the importance of finding out what they need to do to be prepared for emergencies, but there will always be those who don't realise until too late. Unfortunately, the people with least money are likely to be those who are least able to cope with the complications of registering for charity help before their animal is desperately ill and needs immediate help.

Our shops are the best way we have to raise our income. They're already generating funds that cover all their fixed costs, plus the profit which we can use for our welfare work. This means that every extra hour spent volunteering in one of the shops generates money that can all be used to help more animals, because there are no additional running costs (other than the odd cup of tea).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Poole china set

Many thanks to the donor of this attractive set of Poole china.

£400 for the whole, or we could split it up. There's also a set of blue Midwinter china.