Congress 2020 Charities

We are delighted to be supporting the following charities at Congress this year:

Support Adoption For Pets

Every year thousands of pets end up in a rescue centre. Some have been neglected; others are much loved by owners who can no longer care for them. All of them are abandoned through no fault of their own. In 2006 Support Adoption For Pets was established to help these pets find their second chance at happiness. Ever since, they’ve been transforming the lives of pets in need.

One of the many ways they support our rescues is through their grant programme. Rescues can apply for financial aid to help with a wide variety of projects, from vet bills and vehicles to funding entire kennel blocks – they support rescue initiatives all over the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, last year they awarded £1.6 million through their grant programme to rescues across the country.

Through their Charity of the Year initiative, rescue organisations are invited to build a relationship with their local Pets at Home store, raising funds and awareness of their work within the local community. Every Pets at Home store nationwide selects a local rescue as their Charity of the Year to undertake a year of fundraising activities. The rescue bring their fundraisers, volunteers and sometimes their homeless pets into store to interact with customers and share information about the work they do, whilst raising additional funds to help pets in their care.

They have their own adoption centres located inside the majority of Pets at Home stores. These adoption units provide a safe home for small pets and are the ideal place to find a new home with a loving family. They take care of any veterinary bills and cover the costs of food and shelter until our adoption pets are rehomed. All the rabbits they rehome go to their new families with a free health check and vaccination voucher, as well as a free neutering voucher.

Support Adoption for Pets are passionate about rehoming pets in need, and transforming their lives whilst they are looking for their forever home. Their work is made possible by the incredible fundraising of Pets at Home colleagues and the kind generosity of animal lovers who believe in their mission. Their charity is funded entirely by the kind donations of the public, Pets at Home colleagues and suppliers. Every penny makes a huge difference to pets in need across the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Our Special Friends

Bringing the power of animal companionship to people at vulnerable times

The powerful benefits of animal companionship are well documented, and providing and maintaining opportunities for this companionship to flourish is increasingly recognised as being hugely beneficial to society. During times of difficulty animal companionship can help us to cope, providing a reason to care and bringing another heartbeat into the home. The special relationships between people and animals can be mutually life-enhancing, and at times even life-saving.

For the lonely, the ill, and other people at vulnerable times in their lives, access to animal companionship, whether temporary or permanent, can have enormous impact.  It can provide a sense of comfort and safety, reduce anxiety and potentially decrease the need for reliance on other services. For someone with mental health problems, time spent with an animal can greatly improve their quality of life through the unconditional love that it brings.

There may be times in our lives when additional pressures can jeopardise the balance of any human-animal relationship and lead to a compromise in welfare. For example, owners who become seriously ill or immobile may need support to help them maintain animal companionship by providing temporary care, or perhaps to make difficult decisions for their mutual welfare. The terminally ill can often find peace of mind once they know a new, loving home is identified for their pets before they themselves pass away.

Our Special Friends is an ambitious and innovative Suffolk based charity which has grown out of a desire to support people who are struggling in a range of situations and where animal companionship plays an important role in helping them to cope. Over the last eight years, their growing team of employees and volunteers has provided support in over a thousand cases, coordinating person-centred care and delivering a wide range of human-animal support services. This is often in conjunction with existing resources in the local community, and can reduce the pressure on health and adult care services.

With the right funding and support, Our Special Friends is now set to embark on an ambitious plan, built on their solid practical experience, to bring the power of animal companionship to even more people facing personal difficulties; by sharing and enabling best practice with like minded people and agencies.

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