As a leading food and drink agency we are regular attendees at Arena networking events. This December their Christmas event was long-awaited, as it marked not only the unofficial start to Christmas (in my humble opinion), but also the very first function to be held at the Mandarin Oriental since its fire and refurbishment. As well as the draw of the opulent surroundings of the Mandarin Oriental, the running order of the day boasted a presentation from Peter Backman and a talk from Chef Patron of Lympstone Manor, Michael Caines MBE.
Swapping PR for ER – Volunteering as a Community First Responder
God forbid you need to dial 999 this Christmas or at any another time of the year. But if you do and you need emergency medical assistance, what many of us don’t realise is that the first medically trained person who comes to your aid could well be a Community First Responder (CFR), rather than an ambulance crew.
Since joining Jellybean 12 years ago I have been donating regularly to my local charity – The Princess Alice Hospice. A charity committed to ensuring the best end of life care, as well as supporting families in making the most of their time with a loved one and after bereavement.
I went to Just Springers Rescue a charity for re-homing Springer Spaniels to good approved homes, based in Redhill and founded by volunteer Liz Austin.
I met with Liz, Kate and George. Kate is an 8 year old retired show Springer Spaniel and was given to Liz as a mentor for George in 2018. Kate was the champion Springer Spaniel in Sweden before coming to England and won her class at Crufts. Kate is a qualified Canine Concern Care Dog and goes to a school in Blenchingly to listen to the children read. Liz told me that Kate has made a huge difference to the confidence of the children she listens too. Sometimes Kate falls asleep when the children are reading but Liz says that’s just her deep thinking and concentrating on the story!
George who is also approximately 8 years old and was rescued after being found underneath a car in a very poor state. George is now fit and healthy but still sees a chiropractor once every three months due to many broken bones from his previous owners.
Liz started the charity in 2008 and over 10 years Liz and her team have rehomed over 260 Springers, they usually rehomed between 25-30 a year. The main reasons for rehoming spaniels is usually due to change of circumstances, how much exercise the breed needs, or death of the owner or if it is a stray dog.
If a dog is found in Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire or Kent the local dog warden will inform Liz. If the springer is not retrieved or reported missing the dog will be fostered by one of the committee members of Just Springers Rescue. The dog will then go through a number of assessments to understand its temperament and the needs of the dog. All dogs under 18 months are tested for service work, 9/10 police dogs are donated or rescue dogs. If the dog is successful it will be trained to identify many different scents, such as drugs, money and explosives.
Liz will then go through her waiting list of potential foster parents, which currently stands at over 50. If Liz thinks she has found a suitable new owner match she will contact them and arrange a time for them to come and meet the dog. It is very important that both the dog and new owners get on and it feels right. The next stage after a cooling off period is a home check to make sure the environment is right for that particular dog.
Just Springers have an Annual Show that they put on in July and organise an Annual walk for all the members of the charity, including all the springers that have been rehomed. Liz says she finds it so lovely seeing the dogs that have been rehomed coming back to the annual show and seeing how much they have progressed.
After my chat with Liz, I helped Liz prepare for her biannual newsletter. I wrote the names and address’ on over 100 letters which will then be sent to the charity members. After another stroke with Kate and George, Liz and I took the dogs on a walk. We gave the dogs a good run around then headed home after Kate rolled in something nasty! I had a great day at Just Springers Rescue, it was great to help a local charity that is close to my heart.
If you would like to find out more about Just Springer Rescue, please visit their website at: http://www.justspringersrescue.co.uk/
Choosing Cancer Research as my charity for the Jellybean 12 days of giving was a no brainer. Having people close to me diagnosed with/or sadly losing their battle with cancer was a great reason for me to raise money and create awareness of the charity. Studies show there are now more than 200 different types of cancer and 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer within their lifetime, making this a disease a we all want to beat. Cancer Research’s aim is clear – together we will beat cancer.