Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre – Dow Foundation Follow Up (October 2022)
On the 19th October 2022, Dowhigh directors Trevor Murray and Brian Morrey along with IT Officer Owen Lea-Porter met with Freshfields Director Emma Jensen and fund raiser Debbie Hughes at their Head Office in Ince Blundell.
Freshfields are a local animal rescue centre who have been at their current location since they were formed nearly 50 years ago. They help a range of animals, both for re-homing and animals with behaviour issues or illnesses that makes it difficult for them to be re-homed in the future.
Well known in the area, it’s often common to hear from someone that they have rescued an animal from the centre. The centre does not put any animal down and will always try their utmost to re-home animals.
The charity had recently had a new reception and “hub” built at the centre, but unfortunately the access to the hub was pebble and stone which made access to the centre difficult for anyone with mobility issues, and wheelchair access.
This has meant that there has been a group of people, both from a volunteer and a re-homing point of view, that has been unable to access this stunning new facility as well as the kennels and other animal shelters.
Unfortunately, animal rescue centres do not get the same publicity or funding as other charities despite all of the good work that they do. Therefore, when we approached them advising them of the Dow Foundation, it couldn’t come a moment too soon!
So Why Did The Dow Foundation Choose Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre For An Award?
After reviewing all of the proposals, the bid from Freshfields was one that we felt we could help with outside of the Dow Foundation funding.
The bid made clear what it was hoping to achieve – opening the hub up to a wider community, allowing the centre to provide training and a wider range of volunteer options to those that would have historically not be considered.
The connection between animals and people and mental health is well documented, and by opening the hub up the centre can provide training and experience to a range of people as well as giving the centre a wider opportunity to re-home animals.
- The goal is to provide equal opportunity for all people to connect with animals to achieve mutual well-being
- To provide a positive, lasting change at the centre
- To help bring people within the community together to train and educate
- To literally create a path of opportunity for social and personal well-being for an additional 40 people every year of all ages, abilities and backgrounds through the unifying subject of animal care
- To give the centre more opportunity to recruit volunteers who can bring their experience
How Much Did The Dow Foundation Award Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre And What Was It Used For?
Unlike other award winners, Freshfields did not need a cash award. What they needed was an experienced civil engineering company to assist with the installation of a new path from the centre’s entrance to their new hub.
As outlined above, the path will allow a range of new visitors to the centre, including volunteers and potential adopters.
The civils team visited site and dug out the current path which was predominately a stone based path. The path was then properly laid with new flags as shown in the pictures below.
How Will The Award Benefit The Centre?
The new path allows the centre to recruit volunteers from all walks of life, regardless of any mobility issues they may have. This means that, where previously they may have missed out on bringing in people who people who have mobility issues that could bring real benefit to the centre, this is no longer the case.
Further to this, it also means that they can also open the centre to a wider group of potential adopters as well.
The new footpath creates a real opportunity for the centre to grow. The hub is a fantastic addition to the centre, and allows them to create a unique environment for people to visit potential pets in a more “household” environment, taking them out of the kennels.
Dowhigh and the Dow Foundation would like to congratulation Freshfields on their new hub and are pleased that we can help with a local charity that has helped many animals since they were formed, and one which many Dowhigh employees have had experience of in the past.