It’s hard to believe that we’re coming to the end of 2022 already. This has been a year packed full of change not only for Greyhound Rescue Wales, but to the country as a whole. As we prepare to close our shops and pause our rehoming over the Christmas period, it seems like a good time to look back over what’s happened this year.
If you attended this year’s AGM, you will have seen the presentation I gave summarising our Change Programme to date. If not, you may want to watch it by clicking here.
It’s fair to say our EGM in March this year was a pivotal moment for Greyhound Rescue Wales. It marks the first time in our history that members were given a democratic vote on our position in relation to greyhound racing. The result of the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing an end to greyhound racing in Wales, but with rescue and rehoming remaining our core business. That decision proved timely when, in September, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and RSPCA all jointly announced they would be adopting the same position on greyhound racing in the UK following an extensive review on the practice. It is essential for any charity to move with the times, and I am proud to be leading Greyhound Rescue Wales into this next phase of its existence.
Since the EGM, we have been working hard to implement the recommendations of our 2021 review as part of our Change Programme. I won’t list this in detail because it is covered in the presentation, but it’s fair to say this represents a monumental task for many of the trustees, staff and volunteers involved.
At our Hillcrest rehoming centre, we undertook some interim works to shore up the facilities and provide extra kennel capacity. Work is still progressing on the project to rebuild the site with a bespoke kennel facility, however we recognised this was still a number of years from completion. Not only did we need to make sure our current kennels will last that long, we had to respond to additional pressure for rehoming capacity in light of the cost of living crisis.
Our rehoming team have done an amazing job this year, not only keeping the rehoming of racing greyhounds going, but also responding to an increasing number of emergency cases. We are starting to see more and more sighthounds in serious trouble, either through abandonment or extreme poor health. Sadly, it seems this is likely to continue into next year based on current trends.
Our fantastic charity shops continue to go from strength to strength. Unfortunately, we did have some temporary closures at 2 of our shops for one reason or another, but the new year will see us come back stronger than ever in retail with some really exciting events centred around our shop locations. Keep an eye out in our “What’s On” section in January for more updates.
Fundraising has remained strong in many areas despite economic pressures taking hold. A huge amount of effort went into projects such as 100 club, Pawsome Auction, numerous raffles and appeals, and more. We have ambitious plans for regular fundraising events all over Wales in 2023 and we’d love to build on the amazing support we already receive. Have you considered running a fundraising event in 2023? Perhaps you’ve got a really good idea to raise money for greys? Click here for more info.
That just leaves the most important part, to say a sincere thank you to everyone who has done something to support Greyhound Rescue Wales this year. Whether you’re a volunteer, staff member, trustee, supporter, member, adopter, or just a casual follower who spreads the word about what we do, your efforts are hugely appreciated. It really does make a difference to work with such enthusiastic and dedicated people who share a passion for helping hounds.
Wishing you all a restful and happy Christmas and New Year. I look forward to seeing many of you and your hounds out and about in 2023!