As part of our regular ‘Charity Spotlight’ series, we talk to Helen Wilber – Fundraising Manager at Leicester Animal Aid. If you would like to take part in a Charity Spotlight and showcase your charity, get in touch now.
Q1: What does your charity do?
Leicester Animal Aid is a rescue and rehoming centre for cats and dogs. Every year, we care for animals who are lost, abandoned, found stray or have been relinquished because their owners can no longer care for them. We provide a warm bed, veterinary treatments, good food and lots of love and care until a forever home can be found for each animal.
Q2: What is your role within the charity?
I am Fundraising Manager, the General Manager is Keely Short.
Q3: What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Our biggest reward is always seeing animals go to their new homes. This always makes our day, as much as we love our cats and dogs. It’s also rewarding to work with so many committed volunteers, members and supporters. We couldn’t do our work without the wider support of the LAA family and those in our local community.
Q4: Where can people find out more about your charity?
Q5: How has your charity been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We’ve altered the way that we rehome animals, and indeed, many aspects of our work had to be adjusted to comply with the government’s guidelines on safe social distancing. For much of the year we’ve been unable to welcome visitors on site, which was a big blow to us as we are a customer-facing organisation.
Many of our events, such as dog shows and summer fetes had to be cancelled and this impacted on fundraising. In addition, our two charity shops were closed for 3 months in the spring/summer and had to close again when the second lockdown happened. We also had to furlough some staff and our committed team of volunteers have been ‘stood down’ for much of the year. We miss them greatly. Our animals, however, are blissfully unaware of the pandemic and continue to thrive!
Q6: Are you still providing all of your services? Have you had to adapt any?
We are still rescuing and rehoming animals, albeit in a socially distanced way. Customers can view animals through our website and complete the ‘interested parties’ form as usual, then staff will take it from there and do the matching remotely.
Customers can also call the Centre on 01455 888257. Our Community Pet Support Scheme, a scheme which helps elderly, housebound and disabled pet owners to care for their companion animals at home, is still going strong with extra care being taken to protect clients.
Q7: Are you currently fundraising or holding virtual events/activities?
Supporters can also donate over the phone or via PayPal using the address firstname.lastname@example.org
During the festive period, staff will be planning some of their own fundraising events at the centre including a sponsored (exercise bike) cycle finishing on Christmas Eve. We’re always very happy to hear from anyone who wants to raise funds for us, virtually or otherwise.
Q8: How can the public help you right now?
Our Christmas Appeal asks for £6 to buy a present for a cat or dog. We would love it if people could help bring the warmth and joy of Christmas to LAA. We would also love people to share the appeal on social media. This at least is one thing where we can say the more, the merrier!
More information about other ways to help LAA is available at: https://www.leicesteranimalaid.org.uk/introduction/get-involved
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