Covid19 hits charity income - Greyhound Trust appeals for help.
- Credit: Archant
It is not just the business sector that has been hit hard by the impact of the Coronavirus, charities have also seen their work and their income severely curtailed during the government lockdown.
The Mildenhall branch of the Greyhound Trust which homes retired racing dogs in East Cambridgeshire, and parts of Suffolk and Norfolk has seen a massive impact. The branch is appealing to people to help it to respond to this crisis.
We have had to cease our homing activities completely as we are no longer able to conduct home visits and most of our volunteers are unable to help out with our work as they are self isolating. In any event travelling by car to walk dogs does not fall into the category of essential travel. This means that we are unable to accept any more dogs that have retired from racing as we are already up to the maximum number in our care.
Our income has also dropped off a cliff, in more normal times the Trust receives a monthly grant from the greyhound racing industry which comes from the voluntary levy paid by the High street bookmakers.
At present there is no greyhound racing taking place and the high street bookmakers are closed, this has meant that income from this source has been drastically reduced.
We also rely heavily on running events such as the Greyhound Extravaganza held annually near Newmarket unsurprisingly all of these events are being postponed or even cancelled.
Other ways of generating funds for the care of our retired dogs include donations from meet and greet activities, donations from individuals, rehoming fees, and intake donations when dogs are passed over to us all of which have either stopped completely or are substantially reduced.
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We have tried hard to mitigate the impact both by reducing our costs to the absolute minimum and by seeking to generate funds through online activities. Our biggest single cost is kennel fees so as the lockdown started we appealed to people who had adopted dogs from us in the past to ‘foster’ one of our dogs from the kennels.
We have had an excellent response to this appeal and about a third of our dogs are now in foster homes.
Staff costs have also been reduced with most of the head office staff now furloughed. On line fundraising currently under way include a virtual dog show and a virtual pub quiz in aid of animal charities including the Greyhound Trust. Whilst the government has made funds available to assist some charities, understandably, most of this money is going to organisations addressing the human impact of Coved19.
Despite these efforts the Greyhound Trust, in common with many Charitable organisations is under severe financial pressure and is concerned at its ability to recover quickly once the current crisis is over. In addition we all know that social distancing is not an enjoyable experience for ourselves, similarly our kennel dogs are facing a much longer stay than we would wish to see.
There are a number of ways in which people can help including
* Sponsor one of the dogs in our Mildenhall Branch kennels. This will help us to meet the costs of their extended stay in our kennels. We will provide a photo of the dog, a certificate, and a brief ’CV’. Sponsorship from £10 per month, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 07787701695
* Play the Greyhound Trust lottery, details at www.lottery.greyhoundtrust.org.uk * Make a donation to the Greyhound Trust.www.greyhoundtrust.org.uk.