By Jan Lake, Chair of Trustees
It’s been a tough year. As I write, Covid regs are preventing us travelling and restricting visitors. This is having an impact across our charity, particularly for those who volunteer at any of our kennels. We must protect those working at kennels and responsible for the care of the dogs, and so sadly we have had to restrict access to all our sites to keep everyone safe and well.
We’ve also not been able to hold our usual events and activities, and our charity shop has had periods of closure. This has meant that we have had a lot less contact than we would like to have had with our volunteers, but our wonderful supporters have found other ways to help us and keep in touch. We are so grateful to each and every one of you for the effort you have put in to continuing to support us this year.
Its easy to look back at 2020 and write it off as a year of negatives. But here at Forever Hounds Trust it was far from negative – we ACHIEVED SO MUCH! Despite the pandemic, we had a hugely positive year in which we homed more dogs than the previous year (despite the fact we had to close homing operations in at least one of our regions for most of the year and were therefore operating with less spaces.) We also raised more money than ever before, thanks in no small measure to our wonderful fundraising team of staff and volunteers as well as our loyal supporters. Oh, and we BOUGHT OUR OWN PREMISES!!! That of course has been the fulfilment of a long-held dream, and it’s been an immensely positive achievement at the end of an extremely challenging year. Owning our own kennels will mean we can develop and grow our charity in so many ways, building upon our achievements and enabling us to help more dogs. We have already homed our first dog from the new ‘Forever Hounds Trust Centre for Homing and Welfare’ and we look forward to sharing more information about the development of this new facility in due course.
So, what of 2021 then? Well, we will be celebrating a Big Birthday as we will be TWENTY FIVE years old this year. It seems only a short while ago that we were holding our twentieth birthday party, where does the time go?! This year there are all manner of things in the offing to help us celebrate the fact we will have been a registered charity for a quarter of a century. We have helped thousands of dogs during those 25years – some of them may be sitting on your sofa right now – and that is really something to celebrate. Looking to the future I know there will be so many more dogs which we will be able to reach.
As always, a huge thank you to every one of our supporters for the part you have played in our year of splendid achievements! 2021 will continue to see Forever Hounds Trust flourish and grow, and I know you will all want to be part of that bright future. We just need to get through Covid and all the (necessary!) precautions to ensure that we move safely forwards.
Stay safe, warm, and well folks, and hold tight to those dreams for 2021.