2020 has been a turbulent year for everyone, the voluntary sector included, and many have had to endure a number of setbacks, but with help from the Third Sector Resilience Fund, Hope Rescue have managed to weather the storms, both literal and otherwise.
Down but not out
Even before Covid-19 brought the world to a standstill, Wales was battered by Storm Dennis. The damage from flooding, especially across parts of South Wales, was extensive and for the dog rescue charity, it proved to be extra costly as their Pontypridd charity shop was forced to close.
The income generated by charity shops can be vital to their continued existence, but they were able to secure their organisation’s future for the time being.
They barely had time to catch their breath, however, before Covid-19 hit and they saw their kennel service forced to shut due to lockdown, further depriving them of an income stream even while demand for their services remained as high as it’s ever been.
Man’s best friend in need
‘It wasn’t an option to close our doors when lockdown started’ Transformation Manager, Vanessa Wadden, said.
‘We knew that the most vulnerable dogs in our local community would still be needing our help, as would vulnerable pet owners and their families. Our services would never be needed more.’
‘We only had enough reserves to keep going for another couple of months. The grant not only allowed us to keep our doors open, but also gave us the breathing space we needed to focus on adapting our operations and income generation strategy.
‘The day we heard we had the grant was the first night’s proper sleep I had since lockdown began!’
No sleeping on the job
Not that there’s been much chance to rest since – Hope Rescue have taken in a further 100 dogs over the course of lockdown, also helping in cases where an owner had died, either from Covid-19 or other illnesses. Third sector resilience fund money allowed them to continue paying staff, vet fees and rescue centre overheads, all helping to keep dogs in their local community safe.