It's the most wonderful time of the year again when we get to launch our fabulous Christmas Card collection and support some deserving good causes and charities.
Each year we support a selection of hand-picked organisations and charities with a donation from sales of our Christmas cards and this year is no different. We are thrilled to announce that this year we have chosen 7 fantastic causes to help and we wanted to take some time to let you all know a little bit about each of them.
With numbers drastically declining and the breeds being in need of help more than ever, we have chosen to continue our support for The Clydesdale Horse Society and The Shire Horse Society.
Formally launched in June 1877, the aim of the society is to maintain the purity of the breed and promote the Clydesdale Horse.
Despite a long history of being an integral part of every day life in previous decades, by 1975 Clydesdales were categorised by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as 'vulnerable'. But with the continued work of those committed to the breed, the numbers of Clydesdales has started to increase, and they are now categorised as 'at risk'.
However with only around 250 foals being recorded in the stud book each year, the breed is still very much at risk. Although some are still being used for their traditional roles on the farm, driving and logging work, people with a love of the horses are finding new ways to work with the breed, such as riding them and featuring them at associated shows.
The Shire Horse Society has been responsible for over 100 years for the promotion of the Shire horse and the maintenance of the Stud Book.
In more recent years the conservation and development of the breed, part of our national heritage, has become a great priority.
The Society actively encourages the breeding and use of Shire horses throughout the country.
Alongside this we wanted to help some amazing smaller charities close to us here in the South West that all support the needs of smaller animals through shelter, care and rehoming.
Holmewood Animal Rescue, are almost entirely an independent charity. They are classed as a small rescue despite the 200 animals that they are currently looking after. Whilst not extremely well-known and with very few volunteers, the they re-home so many animals, usually locally and provide a vital service for the local communities.
Over the years, they’ve had many different animals come into their care. Most of those animals came to them very ill and in desperate need of emergency care. Holmewood are strongly against putting animals to sleep, and if they feel they have a chance of making it, they’ll help them in every way they can to make sure the animals make it.
Holmewood Animal Rescue love the work they do; every bit of it helps an animal in need, from giving advice to someone who needs help to rescuing animals who will eventually get their well-deserved forever homes.
Paws2Freedom is a small HMRC registered, Cornwall-based dog rescue charity. Made up of a family of volunteers and supporters, they are dedicated to changing the desperate situations of dogs in the UK. They operate a strict no-kill policy, instead preferring to work with the dogs to improve their health and well-being and, if needed, raise funds for surgery and a range of other treatments both curative and palliative to improve their quality of life.
The dogs are at the very heart of everything they do at Paws2Freedom and they help them in so many ways: By saving lives their main focus lies in finding homes for all the dogs currently in need of adoption and in caring for their sanctuary foster dogs at their small rescue in Cornwall. Many rescued dogs never find their forever homes and it is important to everyone at Paws2Freedom to help provide as good a life for them as they can.
Maria Mulkeen went to Duchy College, in the year 2000 to pursue her passion for animals and their welfare. After which came an opportunity to start her own animal shelter on a perfect little piece of land in Probus, Cornwall.
Maria's Animal Shelter started off with one pony and is becoming a big success, taking in all kinds of animals including: Goats, sheep, geese, ducks, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, birds and hamsters.
After registering as a charity in June 2012, Maria has more ideas on improving this shelter with her trustees and hardworking volunteers. The aim is to keep our re-homing project successful and try to help prevent cruelty to animals, educate the public and students on the proper care of animals, give advice, to try and solve problems in order to keep an animal with its owner. If this cannot be achieved, the owner will be safe in the knowledge that the animal will either be re-homed in a suitable environment or have a permanent, secure and loving home at the shelter.
Hedgehog numbers have seen rapid decline across the UK in recent years, with an estimated 523,000 remaining in England, Scotland and Wales. Prickles and Paws are a dedicated Hogspital in Cornwall, where they work to conserve this iconic species, particularly in rural areas where their decline is believed to be most rapid.
It all began with two hoglets and a girl who loved wildlife. Prickles and Paws was founded by mother and daughter duo Diane and Katy, becoming a registered charity in 2017.
Katy always dreamt of working with wildlife and this began with the rehabilitation of two young hoglets through to release back into the wild but she couldn’t just stop there. Having attended wildlife rehabilitation courses and with guidance and support from other rescue centres and vets, Diane was quickly roped in for support as hedgehogs from across Cornwall were in need of assistance.
The charity has grown rapidly since the competition run by a local primary school to name them, and the hope is that this development will continue and result in a full wildlife rescue centre for Cornwall one day soon.
Finally the last charity we have chosen to help is the incredible Hope for Homeless SW who run the Garage Cafe in Plymouth, providing much needed support for the regions rough sleepers every evening.