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Branch news

Update from the Board of Trustees

Posted January 2021

As we start the new year I am reaching out to provide you all with a much overdue update on the RSPCA York, Harrogate and District branch after what has been a tumultuous year for everyone.

SarahBy way of introduction, I was elected as Chair early 2020 and within a matter of days, it became clear that Coronavirus was going to have a very significant impact on us all.  It meant that we had to react quickly, be clear about our priorities and adapt to the new challenges we have all been learning to face, which have been coming thick and fast.

2020 saw the resignations of a number long standing Trustees; Lorna Longman, Anita Metcalf and Anne Hirst who have been great ambassadors and have contributed massively to the charity and the wellbeing and safety of thousands of animals needing support over the years.  It was key we recruited new Trustees to carry on with the excellent work they contributed.  We swiftly set to work to run a targeted recruitment campaign and I am delighted to announce that in September three fantastic new Trustees; Samantha Scholey, Gemma Casey and Ben Carroll were appointed to the Board of Trustees and have brought a wealth of experience and energy to the team.  

As you can expect, with reduced resources and opportunities to raise funds we at times had to make very difficult decisions.  We too had to furlough some of our people and unfortunately we did need to reduce some non-animal care facing roles.  That said, as an organisation we felt it was important to look after our people and we have taken a balanced approach when making our decisions.  Without the excellent work our team does on a day to day basis, we cannot provide the care for animals in need of help.  For those roles suspended on furlough, we protected full salary payments during the first lockdown period and then did a phased reduction.  A number of people had to shield themselves due to long standing health conditions and caring responsibilities, and volunteers have had to stay away for the protection of themselves and the team.  At times this has left us very stretched.

A lot of goodwill, hard work, agility, adaptability and people selflessly going above and beyond have kept the branch running.  And this is what I am most proud of.

In fact, as much as 2020 was a challenging year we learned and achieved a lot.  Our phenomenal team and volunteers continued to raise funds online and created new and unique opportunities to support us.  They built a stronger online community, spreading the word and raising funds on-line which included the phenomenal Badly Drawn Pets campaign which was copied by other RSPCA branches along with other charities and one of our fantastic suppawters went as far as shaving her head!

There are too many great things that happened last year to list, but the important things is what it all contributed towards.  In 2020, we still managed to help and take in 447 animals and rehomed 279.  These numbers are down on the previous year but this was a great result under the circumstances.  We could not have achieved this without the fantastic work of our people and without you and your continued support.

As me move into 2021, I am cautiously optimistic and am quite excited about the opportunities we have.  We are very clearly still in the hands of the pandemic and will respond in a responsible way and inline with how the government and the National Society directs us to.

The National Society, after a year of unprecedented change, are launching an updated mission at the end of January and set in motion a new working model to support the branch network and I am looking forward to seeing how we work more closely together in the future.

The Trustee team here at the York, Harrogate & District branch is currently working on a new strategy which we will share with you soon.  It will be a great day when we can welcome back our much missed volunteers and getting in place a program of events so we can see you all and have more opportunities to raise the vital funds to continue our excellent work.  

We still have much to do, and it is clear we will need to adapt through these difficult times.  We will need a plan A, B and C and be ready to react.  We have opportunities to better connect with the wider community in our branch district, our members, volunteers and expand our network.  Like many charities we took the decision to cancel our 2020 AGM. Our accounts were approved and externally audited and can be viewed on the charity commission website. Hopefully we'll be able to carry out our 2021 AGM in person and will be in touch in due course.

We have continued to play our part in the critical care of animals in need of help and will continue to do everything in our power to ensure we continue to build on our successes in the coming year.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support and we look forward to and hope for better things to come.



Sarah

Sarah Wass

RSPCA York, Harrogate and District 

Chair of Trustees

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About Us

We are primarily self-funding and the money we spend in York is raised in York and Harrogate and surrounding areas. Income is also generated by our charity shops in Goodramgate, York, Acomb and Selby.

Find out more

RSPCA York, Harrogate & District Branch

RSPCA York Animal Home
Landing Lane, YORK
YO26 4RH

Telephone: 01904 654949Our reception area is only fully manned during our opening hours, as our staff are attending to animal welfare the rest of the time.

Email: reception@rspca-yorkhome.org.uk

Opening times:
Monday - Wednesday, Friday - Sunday 11:00 - 15:00Please note that the York Animal Home is closed all day Thursday. The York Animal Home is also closed on the first Thursday of every month for staff training.

RSPCA York ShopRSPCA YorkCharity ShopGBPMonday to Saturday 9:00am - 4:30pm Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
5B, Goodramgate, York
Telephone: 01904 466140

RSPCA Acomb ShopRSPCA AcombCharity ShopGBPMonday to Saturday 9:00am - 4:30pm Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
43 York Road, Acomb
Telephone: 01904 788616

RSPCA Selby ShopRSPCA SelbyCharity ShopGBPMonday to Saturday 9:00am - 4:30pm Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
3 New Lane, Selby
Telephone: 01757 707100

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