Branch News 1st October 2019
The year seems to be flying by as we welcome you to the 3rd edition of the branch news for 2019.
News from the Kennels.
Let us first of all give you the numbers.
The third quarter of the year continued to be a successful one, with another 55 of the greyhounds, leaving us for their loving homes. This means that 158 retired racing greyhounds that have come into our care this year, are now happily living with their new families.
We were hoping to give you details of the 4,000th greyhound to be rehomed by the branch, since it was first started by Alison in 2002, but it was not to be, as by the end of this quarter the branch has found homes for 3,998 retired hounds.
We are still taking three retired greyhounds from the trainers at Ladbrokes Monmore Green Stadium in alphabetical order, one male and two females, on a regular basis and at present we have 24 hounds in our care.
At one stage, every kennel greyhound was black in colour, but during the quarter more different colours have joined us. Blue, brindle, black and white, all white and fawn. These always seem to attract potential owners first, but as the kennel team are quick to point out it is the characteristic of the greyhound for their particular circumstances that is more important than colour.
The kennels have had visits from members of the Welfare and Development staff from head office recently. They planned their visits to coincide with branch meetings, which they attended, giving us an insight to the support available from their department and their vision for the future. Feedback from these was very positive and the kennel team will be able to exchange ideas with them in the future. .
So we have now moved from summer into the autumn months and leaves are falling from the trees surrounding the kennel paddocks. This means the daily volunteers have been busy removing them from not only the paddock floors, but also the drainage channels to allow the rain we have experienced lately to flow away freely. Each season brings new challenges.
News of Our Volunteers.
Our volunteers play an important role in the success of our branch, whether it is helping at the kennels with the welfare of the hounds in our care, to promoting Greyhounds as Pets on awareness events. Our volunteer coordinator Alison Bandurak has sent this report.
Our volunteer numbers continue to grow with a variety of ages and skills. We have 80 registered to our branch at head office.
As a team, working together with the kennel team, we are dedicated to get as many greyhounds into homes as quickly as we can.
We have welcomed a number of younger volunteers (under 18's) with a supervising adult. this is the life blood of the charity for years to come.
All volunteers have ID lanyards to display at awareness events, a greyhound trust polo and sweatshirt and give freely their time as available.
News of our Awareness Events.
Our Awareness and Roadshow co-ordinators, Steve and Jayne Smith has sent this report for you.
Perton Spring Fair took place on the 18th May and as in previous years the event attracted a good turn out and there was a lot of interest in our hounds. On Bank Holiday Monday despite the cooler weather the Roadshow went to both Lichfield Bower and the meeting at the Monmore Green Track but the numbers of visitors was lower than usual at both these events.
Unfortunately on the 8th June the Rugeley Charter Fair was cancelled by the town council because of heavy rain. Rain continued the following week and the planned visit to Rugeley Town Centre also had to be cancelled.
Toward the end of June the roadshow went to Waitrose in Wolverhampton. The event attracted a lot of interest and people were very supportive as usual.
On the 29th June we took the roadshow to Great Wyrley Carnival. Despite having to cut short the event due to high temperatures the day was a success in promoting the work of the Trust and showcasing the hounds.
Another wet Saturday on the 6th July saw us at Pelsall Carnival. We dodged the showers and benefited from showing off the hounds to the large numbers of people attending. The following day, Sunday the 7th we took the gazebo to Cannock Chase to support the Katherine House Hospice Sponsored Dog Walk which was appreciated by the organisers.
On the 30th of July, Carole and Brian provided a presence at the Bloxwich Bonanza. This was a new event introduced this year and was successful in raising awareness in the town.
The last event took place on the 7th September at Wolverhampton City Centre. There was a lot of interest in the hounds and we're hoping that the interest results in homed hounds in due course.
We are now starting the second visits of the year to town centres and Autumn and Christmas events. If you have any items suitable for tombola prizes, particularly children's please bring them into the kennels. We're also looking for unwanted Christmas decorations as these attract interest at the Roadshows.
Branch Greyhound Walks.
This report comes from our walk coordinator Carole Appleby.
Our latest GT Wolverhampton Greyhound Walk took place on Sunday 8th September at Cannock Chase. It was a fine sunny morning and fifteen hounds and their families took part. We also had two Kennel Hounds, Bumpy and Blossom, on the walk and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and behaved impeccably as did all the hounds. Both before and after the walk people spent time talking to each other about their hounds and generally enjoying meeting friends old and new.
After the walk we drew the raffle which raised almost sixty pounds and the hounds as always enjoyed their sausages!
On our walks we often get members of the public asking about the Greyhounds and this walk was no exception and we were able to hand out flyers giving information about the Branch and adoption.
Our next GT Wolverhampton walk is our Christmas Greyhound Walk which will be held on Sunday 15th December 2019 at Marquis Drive, Brindley Heath, Cannock Chase, WS12 4PW. There will be the usual choice of three walks - one and a quarter or two and a quarter miles or a short walk near the Parade Ground for hounds who still enjoy a stroll and a sniff but may not be able to manage the longer walks. Please meet near the Brindley Heath Visitor Centre ( the Greyhound Trust van will be parked nearby) between 10.00 and 10.15am and the walk will start at 10.30.
After the walk join us for a Mince Pie, Mulled Wine and of course there will be the all important sausages for the hounds. There will be a raffle and sale of Greyhound Trust Merchandise as normal.
Please note that if the weather is inclement our walk will take place around the Parade Ground where you can still see the outstanding beauty of Cannock Chase but where the ground will be firmer.
A reminder that our walks are for Greyhounds, Lurchers and all Sighthounds.
Thank you to those of our supporters who have donated raffle prizes this year and ’thank you’ to all who support our walks – it is much appreciated because as I’ve said on previous occasions they are a social event but they also help us to raise awareness about Greyhounds and the amazing gentle, friendly companions they are.
Why not take a break from the stress of Christmas Shopping and enjoy a relaxing walk with us. You will all be very welcome.
Our Care Home Visits.
We continue to take our kennel hounds to care homes in the local area to meet the residents, who have often had to leave their beloved pets behind them and Lynn the visit coordinator has sent this report for you to read.
Since the last news, the visits to both New Cross and Dovedale Court care homes have continued in their regular monthly pattern. Various kennel hounds have enjoyed their socialising as much as the residents.
Kirsty has now joined the group of people who have offered their time to accompany me on these visits and this is much appreciated. Also, thanks to Carole and Brian Appleby, who have covered for me when I have not personally been able to attend.
In July a very successful visit was made to another home, this one being Springfield House, Codsall. The residents were very enthusiastic about meeting the hounds and although it has not been confirmed as a regular visit, the home indicated that they would like us to return, possibly on a three monthly basis.
Our Social Media Sites.
Our social media sites continue to help the branch share information and our coordinator Chloe Hayes as sent this report.
We have 2,095 Twitter followers and 2,652 Facebook likes. Nothing to report on social media as we are just continuing to use it like normal.
Since the last news, we have updated the gallery section of the website which is called ‘Happy Homed Hounds’, deleting all of the old galleries which dated back a number of years and started fresh from April of this year. Each month two new galleries are added, one for photos of hounds in their homes which are sent in to a new gallery email address which has been created, and the other is for the pictures of the hounds leaving the kennels with their new families, so this way people without social media can see them too.
We will be able to get our kennel hound photographs, which are available for homing, onto the head office website as soon as we are live on the new Anilog system. Hopefully this will be by next month.
Our Branch Supported Hounds.
As a branch, with your support, several hounds that have to spend the rest of their lives on medication for various reasons, are living in loving homes rather than in the kennels. The scheme coordinator, Joanne Hayes as sent this update for you.
The scheme continues quietly without much to report over the summer months apart from again having to share the sad news of the loss of one of our supported Hounds.
Elderly lady Nell, who had found a loving home with Chris, sadly went off her legs a couple of weeks back and had to be gently put to sleep. Many thanks to Chris for giving her much love and kindness in his home for the last months of her life.
Hounds now in the scheme are Luigi, Holly and Murphy.
The Christmas cards have been ordered by the kennels and will be sent out again in early December to all our supporters.
Next Sunday 13th October 2019, the kennels will be closed to the public and volunteers for health and safety reasons, as contractors will be on site to tend to several trees that need attention. The kennel staff, of course will there to look after the hounds in our care as normal.
We shall be issuing a Christmas edition of the branch news in December, followed by the 4th quarter news in early January. We hope that you have enjoyed reading this one.
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