Best Paw Forward: The RSPCA 26.2 mile fundraiser by the 30th of June!

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The Best Paw Forward is a 26.2 mile challenge that you can either walk, run or cycle to help raise funds for the animals in our Animal Centre in Wade Street Halifax, during the month of June.

You can complete 26.2 miles as part of your daily exercise or a personal goal – plus you can win a medal if you raise sponsorship too!

Pick your own pace – from 1 mile a day up to the full 26.2 at once – as long as you complete it by 30th June!

It’s only £3 to register your challenge, please email fundraising@rspcahalifaxhuddersfieldbradford.org.uk and we will send you all the details on how to get started!


Celebrating Volunteers Week June 1-7

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a volunteer?

Is it a quaint old lady behind a charity shop counter? A quirkily dressed, colourful individual? Perhaps a well meaning person bragging about their good deeds?

Over the past weeks that rapidly turned into months, the term of volunteering has cropped up a fair bit. But what exactly is volunteering and why is it so vital?

To say it means doing something for nothing oversimplifies it. Some think that volunteering is pointless, exactly for this reason.

To volunteer, yes, it means doing work without being paid. But it must be something done willingly, if not eagerly.

I have volunteered for my local charity shop for a few years now, though not as often as I’d like, work and family -and COVID!- notwithstanding. I chose to do this because the charity had personal importance to me but my motives were not entirely altruistic. I am a self confessed charity shop junkie, this perhaps another testament to the significance of voluntary work! A stroll into market meant a second hand trawling spree for me and how I miss it! I can put up with the supermarket queues, the lockdown, even took the initial empty toilet roll shelves in my stride. I think of all the closed second hand shops and I despair.

Volunteering was doing something I really loved whilst offering some of my free time into a cause I believed in. It got me to meet the ‘old ladies behind the counter’ who, I’ll have you know, we are a force to be reckoned with. It is something I would strongly encourage anyone to do.

What we offered is perhaps a drop in the ocean of necessity  but what we have earned as individuals is astonishing. Volunteering empowered me, as I used my creativity and gumption and we were all proud, nay chuffed, to see how each closing time we had managed to successfully run a shop.

I feel that even from the point of our personal gain, we have benefited our community. We’ve discovered our self worth, we’ve passed it on, we’ve supported a shop and each other through some really challenging times. We provided our regular, loyal customers with a shop they enjoyed visiting. I look forward to seeing you all again.

There are currently numerous multinational organisations helping worldwide with the COVID-19 crisis, such as Oxfam, Unicef, Doctors without Frontiers, to name but a few, all of which started and continue to rely on volunteers. Over the past two months, there has been an overwhelming response of volunteers worldwide as well as in our own neck of the woods in Calderdale, offering to deliver crucial supplies, befriend those in need, help out with the NHS, with the notable astonishing achievement of Colonel Tom Moore who selflessly served his country twice in a span of nearly four generations!

Pragmatically, volunteering is work without fiscal reward and looks good on your CV. What it offers to the recipient and the volunteer cannot be quantified. The best part is, you don’t need to belong to an organisation or wear the badge and uniform. A simple gesture of goodwill, a tiny contribution can initiate extraordinary benefits to the lives of people far beyond your sight or reach. Arguably, volunteering is as crucial as paid work. Work keeps the world moving. Volunteering shapes it into the world we love living in.

So when you think of a volunteer, look past the quirky outfit and the age stereotypes. See the genuine smile on that face, unless they have a bad day. Amazing though they are, volunteers are still humans, albeit with great drive and a greater can-do attitude. For there’s no joy greater than the joy you give, and what a better way of doing it while doing something you love and believe in!


Volunteers Week is celebrated between 1st and 7th of June every year.


Local Bradford boy Zach 8 raises hundreds for RSPCA with lockdown drawings from home!

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(Zach pictured above with his RSPCA rescue cat Bailey)


THE RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District branch were touched to hear about an amazing fundraising idea from one of their young supporters who wants to help raise vital funds the animals in their care during the COVID19 Crisis.


Animal lover Zach – who is 8 years old and from Thackley, Bradford – decided he wanted to do something special during lockdown to help local animals in need. Zach is drawing his own creations and requests from anyone who donates to his fundraiser. They are posted on his Facebook Fundraising group along with sending some copies out digitally or posted to anyone who donates.



All of Zach’s drawings are being uploaded to his Facebook group and donors just comment on the artwork they would like. The young artist takes requests, but says he much prefers to do his own style of ‘doodle’ rather than a pet portrait. There are plenty of examples of Zach’s artwork to view on his page, including a penguin, an owl a monkey and even an alien spaceship!




Mum, Jemma Walker says “Zach has always been a great animal lover and our family adopted 2 kittens from the local RSPCA in Bradford almost 16 years ago. Sadly, we lost one of our cats last year but we still have Bailey (pictured above with Zach) and who Zach loves so much that it inspired him to help out the charity during lockdown. The fundraising total currently stands at £283 with more donations coming in and we’re even laminating and sanitising any artwork requests for delivery too!”


All funds raised from Zach’s artwork fundraiser will go directly to help the self-funded local RSPCA animal centre. Fay Gibbons, the Digital & Community fundraiser for the branch says “Zach really is a hero in our eyes – it’s been an incredibly difficult time for us here at the centre with all of our Charity Shops closed and fundraising events on hold for the foreseeable future, so all of the money raised will go a really long way in helping us to care for local animals in need. Well done Zach, you’re a superstar!”


To find out more about the fundraiser or to donate and get your hands on your own doodle by Zach, visit his Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/274053893770543.


(Zach at work)

The RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District Branch are a self-funding branch of the National RSPCA, responsible for raising money locally to support our animal welfare work.  Our main aim is to rehabilitate unwanted, abandoned and abused animals and find them loving, permanent homes. The local rehoming centre relies on public donations and the generosity of its local community to keep the doors of their animal centre open. The branch care for cats, dogs and small animals and have successfully rehomed 40 dogs, 60 cats and 10 small animals so far this year.

St Augustine’s with TheArtworks celebrate Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary Art Project

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A new art project to celebrate Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary has been launched!

Residents of Calderdale are being invited to make a piece of art about themselves and send to Artworks to be used in a collective artwork shared during Refugee Week. See the flyer for more information.

Please share with friends and family as well. It would be incredible to have as many people as possible across Calderdale joining in with this project!

St Augustine’s Centre, Hanson Lane, Halifax, HX1 5PG


VSI Alliance Calderdale Sector Resilience Survey May 2020

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Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team

All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact info@vsialliance.org.uk.


The VCSE in Calderdale is playing a critical role in the COVID-19 response. We know that the sector is also having to work in different ways, be flexible and is, in some cases, under real financial pressure. As an infrastructure partnership, we the VSI Alliance, think it is important to find out how our third sector organisations are adapting, to understand the pressures you are under and to work to provide the right support at this time and beyond.

We’d like to ask you to take a few minutes to complete this survey. We will use this information to advocate for your interests and, wherever possible, to adapt our services to meet your needs.

If you prefer, we’d be happy to give you a ring at your convenience to do the survey over the phone.  To arrange a phone interview please contact info@vsialliance.org.uk

Please note that a similar version of this survey is being circulated across West Yorkshire to ensure that we work collectively as a local place and a region to provide insight and also influence how resources may need to be allocated.  As such it is important for Calderdale organisations to participate and tell us how things are looking like from your point of view.

As several partners are collaborating on this work you may receive the survey from several sources. Please note that this survey asks for information which is locally specific and it would be helpful if you can complete this for us.

We plan to follow up this survey in the coming months to continue to find out how our sector is responding to the new challenges that come about during the emergency and beyond.

The survey can be completed via this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cdalesectorresilience

Local RSPCA Honour Captain Tom’s 100th birthday by naming newest feline resident after the fundraising & WWII hero

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THE RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District branch are celebrating WWII veteran and NHS fundraising hero; Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday, by naming their most recent resident taken in during the Covid-19 crisis after the man himself!

The self-funded RSPCA rehoming centre, who have recently started their animal adoptions again after the government restrictions were lifted, felt that Captain Tom Moore’s incredible efforts should be honoured and decided that naming their newest feline resident ‘Captain Tom’ would be a special way to thank the military veteran for helping to raise millions for the NHS.

Digital & Community Fundraiser – Fay Gibbons said “The whole nation has been cheering on Captain Tom Moore with his amazing fundraising. We wanted to wish Tom a very happy 100th birthday and say thank you to such an incredible man, so we thought this would be a lovely way!”

The newest feline resident, named in honour of Capt. Tom Moore

The feline Captain Tom is available for rehoming from the RSPCA animal centre in Halifax but the adoption process has been adapted to abide with social distancing regulations. To find more about Captain Tom the cat; the new rehoming process and general charity news, visit: www.rspcahalifaxhuddersfieldbradford.org.uk.

The RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District Branch are a self-funding branch of the National RSPCA, responsible for raising money locally to support our animal welfare work.  Our main aim is to rehabilitate unwanted, abandoned and abused animals and find them loving, permanent homes. The local rehoming centre relies on public donations and the generosity of its local community to keep the doors of their animal centre open. The branch care for cats, dogs and small animals and have successfully rehomed 40 dogs, 60 cats and 10 small animals so far this year.

#RescueYourRescue Nationwide fundraising appeal. Please help the RSPCA Wade Street rehoming centre

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Lintbells and Peter Purves launch #RescueYourRescue – a nationwide emergency fund-raising appeal that will urgently help pet rescue charities affected by COVID-19 – including RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford Branch.

  • #RescueYourRescue will attempt to raise £250,000 for pet rescue charities across the UK over the coming months
  • Lintbells will donate £10,000 to participating charities
  • Take immediate action by donating £2 and show your support by sharing the paw-fect high-five with your pet on social media using the #RescueYourRescue and nominate friends to donate too.

Celebrity Blue Peter & Crufts Legend Peter Purves high fives a canine companion – click to enlarge

Lintbells – the UK’s leading pet supplement company with a mission to keep pets active for life – has today announced the launch of a charity campaign that will raise vital funds for over 100 registered pet rescue charities across the UK, including the local RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford Branch.

The rehoming centre based on Wade Street, Halifax has been chosen as one of the selected charities to benefit from the appeal as pet rescue centres across the country are facing closure due to a lack of funding and lost revenue as a consequence of COVID-19. The loss of funds, attributed to adoption fees, Centre visits, Charity Shop sales and Fundraising Events has left the future of pet rescue charities hanging in the balance. The #RescueYourRescue Appeal will urgently raise funds to immediately help safeguard the future of pet rescue charities and the animals that rely on them.

  1. Animal Care Assistant at RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford cuddles dog in their care – Jess – click to enlarge
  2. Animal Care Assistant carrying out daily training session with dog in their care – Pip – click to enlarge

A rapid response is required to help protect the health and welfare of the nation’s rescue pets. Recent reports have stated that pet rescue charities are suspending the intake of animals, which could lead to pets being mistreated or abandoned.

Launched in support with veteran broadcaster and the legendary voice of Crufts, Peter Purves, who is a brand ambassador for Lintbells’ YuMOVE brand, #RescueYourRescue will encourage people who can afford to help to donate a minimum of £2 per person. Lintbells will immediately donate £10,000 to participating pet rescue charities.

Peter Purves said: “Pet rescue charities across the country support the welfare of animals that need our help the most. In these difficult circumstances, I’m appealing for animal lovers to work together to support these brilliant centres and the crucial work that they do. Every donation makes a difference, so please give what you can and help spread the word by engaging with the campaign on social media using #RescueYourRescue.

Lauren Moore, Fundraising Manager, RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield Bradford & District Branch said: “We are a local independent branch of the RSPCA so we have to raise our own funds to keep our animal centre running and look after the animals in our care. This is normally done through our fundraising events and income from our charity shops, but with the current COVID-19 crisis we have had to close our shops and cancel planned events and activities which has had a devastating effect on our funds. We’ve also been forced to close our animal centre and have cancelled any potential adoptions. If you would like to donate to help us through the Lintbells appeal please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RSPCAHalifaxHuddersfieldBradfordDistrict

Otis the ferret poses a photo at RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford Animal Centre – click to enlarge

Dr John Howie, CEO & Co-founder of Lintbells added: “Lintbells was established to support the health and well-being of pets and #RescueYourRescue will help safeguard the future of rescue charities. Let’s help protect the UK’s 250,000* animals that need our support.

Quick example costs

It costs up to £1,000,000 per year to run an RSPCA rescue centre. £6 can feed a dog for a week and £10 covers the cost of food and board per animal.  That is why #RescueYourRescue is asking animal lovers who can afford to help donate a minimum of £2 per person.

How you can help

#RescueYourRescue is working with Virgin Money Giving to raise and distribute funds to over 100 pet rescue charities in the UK. Please visit:


Help us spread the word and raise vital funds by engaging with #RescueYourRescue online, on social media and by visiting www.RescueYourRescue.co.uk. Show your support by sharing the paw-fect high-five with your pet on social media using the #RescueYourRescue and nominate friends to donate too. Together we can help safeguard the future of rescue centres and the animals that rely on them.

VSI Alliance Announcement – COVID-19 support available

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Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team


All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact info@vsialliance.org.uk, or see below contact information.

We can support you with:

  • Organisational development
  • Social enterprise, business development and asset transfer
  • Governance
  • All aspects of establishing a new group or organisation
  • Quality assurance including Quality For Health
  • Safeguarding support
  • Fundraising and income generation
  • Partnership working
  • Specialist financial advice and services
  • Volunteering brokerage and development
  • Engagement Champions
  • Voice and representation of the VCS sector

Contact information:

Delivery Manager, food banks and Sowerby/Ryburn area – contact Jayne Leech: jayne.leech@vsialliance.org.uk

Funding, business planning and any groups in Upper Valley – contact Pat Akerman: pat.akerman@vsialliance.org.uk

Engagement Champions – contact Nikkie Dooley and Jayne O’Connell nikkie.dooley@cvac.org.uk / jayne.o’connell@cvac.org.uk

Communication – e-bulletin/social media – contact Jake Farrar: jake.farrar@vsialliance.org.uk

Volunteering support and any groups in Central Halifax – contact Charlie Johnston: charlie.johnston@vsialliance.org.uk

Organisational development – any groups in North Halifax – contact Rachel Shaw: rachel.shaw@vsialliance.org.uk

Organisational development – any groups in Lower Valley – contact Olivia Swingler: olivia.swingler@vsialliance.org.uk

Locality specialist support – contact Sophie Michelena: sophie.michelena@vsialliance.org.uk

WYCAS: specialist financial advice – contact Helen Galvin: helen.galvin@vsialliance.org.uk

Calderdale News & Information

ICYMI: Update on the Volunteering for the Virtual Volunteer Hub
Calderdale Council set up a Virtual Volunteer Hub to help coordinate community support as part of the Council’s 10-point plan to respond to COVID-19. This update provides information on how the hub works, the volunteers, other ways to help and useful information.

Regional/National News & Information

NCVO Funding and Furloughing Guides
Additions to NCVO’s existing coronavirus advice – the latest information on the £750 million promised by the chancellor, list of key national and regional funds open for applications, and information on the coronavirus job retention scheme (furloughing).

Online Support Sessions for VCS Leaders
The Institute of Voluntary Action research are piloting online support sessions for the leaders of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations – 90 minute sessions, for up to 10 leaders at a time.

Two New Papers from CLES
CLES have released two papers that outline the challenges facing local governments as they begin to formulate their economic response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation #ThisIsPE
If you’re looking for ways to educate and entertain the kids during lockdown, we’ve got
something for you! Yorkshire Sport Foundation have brought together teachers from across the country to provide activities and games you can replicate at home, using things you can find around the house.

Funding News

Charity Excellence Free COVID19 Funder Database – Search Function Now Live

Online Original Art Auction for Overgate Hospice on April 26

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An Online Original Art Auction event has been set up to raise crucial funds for the Overgate hospices.

The Auction will close on the 26th of April – you still have time to participate!

The proceedings will go to support the Overgate Hospice during the coronavirus lockdown period, as they cannot open their shops or organise their fundraisers.

To find out more, participate or contribute, please visit the organiser’s facebook page:

Online Original Art Auction for Overgate Hospice