Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

BACKGROUND
Hope Rescue is an animal welfare charity based in Llanharan. At our dedicated Rescue Centre we care for stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs from across South Wales. We also help pet owners in crisis who can no longer look after their pet. We have 40 rescue kennels, 2 exercise paddocks and 18 acres of woodland.

Every day, dozens of dogs are abandoned through no fault of their own, and end up in the local authority pounds. Unfortunately, it is the sad truth that many of these dogs are never claimed and may be destroyed. But at Hope Rescue, these dogs can get a chance at a new future. With Hope, no dog gets left behind, regardless of breed, age or medical condition. The dogs are provided with a safe place for our welfare team to assess them and ultimately find them long-term, suitable homes.

Since opening the Rescue Centre in April 2017 we have taken in over 500 stray or surrendered dogs, recruited more than 50 volunteers and created 6 jobs providing valuable employment opportunities for local people.

THE PROJECT
We would like your support to provide a brand new sensory garden for the dogs at the Rescue Centre. The sensory garden would comprise a secure dog-proof fenced area at the top of our garden orchard, containing scented plants, water features, sand, gravel and textured surfaces, calming sounds and stimulating toys and agility equipment.

Our experienced welfare team will work alongside our volunteers in this new space to offer therapeutic training. This is especially for older or less mobile dogs who require stimulation without high-impact exercise.

Having a secure, off-lead area is a huge boost for the Rescue Dogs in our care, providing them with the opportunity to burn off some energy and explore their surroundings freely. Scented plants such as lavender and thyme provide wonderful stimulation to the senses for dogs as they sniff about, whilst tall plants such as bamboo provide a calming sound as the wind rustles through the leaves. Agility equipment is the perfect resource for getting a dog's brain and body working and water features give a lovely area for dogs to play and cool off in hot weather. We would also like to include a summerhouse to allow the space to be used in all weathers.

The sensory garden will also benefit our supported volunteer programme. This project is a new venture for Hope Rescue and therefore still very much in it’s infancy, but is already proving to be extremely popular. With the support of the Aviva Community Fund, we hope to have increased engagement with local schools, local authorities, employment services, community groups and the justice service in South Wales.

Whilst providing a valuable addition to our Rescue Centre team, our supported volunteers also get a huge personal benefit from working with the dogs at the Rescue Centre. We already provide supported volunteering opportunities for clients from a local mental health facility and a charity that helps homeless clients into work. We have also been approached by Communities for Work and the probation service.

THE BUDGET
With funding from the Aviva Community Fund, we would like to purchase the following items:
Secure dog proof fencing: £8,000
Summerhouse 'Home from Home' room: £5,000
Ground-works, sand, gravel and planting: £5,000
Agility equipment, see-saw, hoop and high table: £5,000
Water feature, paddling pool and trough: £2,000

THE IMPACT
The impact of this project will be twofold: When dogs arrive at Hope Rescue Centre, many are in desperate need of additional welfare support due to the traumatic situations that they have come from. Time in the sensory garden will help to reduce stress and anxiety, encourage them to become more confident and provide additional stimulation and enrichment. The sensory garden will also provide a lovely calm space for our supported volunteers to work with our rescue dogs at a more relaxed pace, where both dog and volunteer benefit from the tranquil space.

Hope Rescue

Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Hope Rescue is a small organisation who really punches above it's weight. I'm proud to be involved with a charity that has such dedicated and passionate staff and volunteers. Hope's ethos of 'helping pets, helping people' means that our impact isn't just on the dogs, but also the local community.
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