How Birmingham Dogs Home is ‘taking the lead’ during lockdown

Staff and supporters face their challenges together

birmingham dogs home dog chases ball

Birmingham Dogs Home has hit the ground running amidst the coronavirus crisis with its ‘Take the Lead Together’ fundraising campaign.

birmingham dogs home logoHaving been forced to re-schedule the BDH “Walk in the Park”, the charity quickly planned and launched a virtual “walkies” event instead.

“A surge in social media usage across all channels was an obvious opportunity for our team to try some new digital fundraising activities,” explains the charity’s Head of Fundraising, Fi Harrison.

“We have encouraged our supporters to take up the challenge of matching the number of steps that our canine carers walk every day and celebrate reaching milestones along the way. Our aim was to develop and strengthen our relationship with our supporters in a light-hearted way. We also wanted to strengthen the connection between their own dog walking and the walking our staff are doing every day.

rescue dog panting birmingham dogs home“Our approach has been to involve our supporters and local communities and share our challenges together – the inspiration for the campaign name “Take the Lead Together”. We are already on the way to raising as much as we would have done from our actual walkies event, with individuals and businesses joining in and spreading the word.”

Inability to rehome puts strain on capacity

Along with all organisations in the not-for-profit sector, the charity is facing many challenges. Stray and abandoned dogs from local authorities continue to arrive at BDH ‘s Birmingham and Wolverhampton centres but rehoming has not been possible for over a month.

“This has an impact in terms of capacity,” explains Giles Webber, Birmingham Dogs Home’s Chief Executive.  “In turn, it puts our canine carer teams under increased pressure with more dogs to care for each day. It is a busy schedule for everyone, particularly as we have had to ask our volunteers to stay at home which increases the workload for our staff.”

Webber also sits on the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) committee and has been closely involved in decisions to formulate a raft of support for the sector at large. He says the association has been ‘working tirelessly’ to support all of its members during the Covid-19 crisis:

“The ADCH has been getting to the heart of the issues for the sector responding to survey results by working closely with DEFRA to develop guidelines around the issues of rehoming and social distancing. The association has also been coordinating the distribution of emergency supplies, as well as launching an Emergency Fund.

“The ADCH has been instrumental in coordinating the support of many sector leaders that have made major contributions to this effort including Petplan Charitable Trust.”

rescue dog running on grass birmingham dogs home

He adds:

“I am very proud of the way the Birmingham Dogs Home team has pulled together during these testing times. They continue to be in good spirits despite the challenges. We are all motivated by the same passion to give as many dogs as possible the best possible care while they are with us. That’s what we are working hard to do.”

Read more news stories here