Over five years of my career have been dedicated to the third sector - specifically with animal welfare and rights organisations (RSPCA, Animals Asia, PETA). I am passionate about working towards making the world a kinder place for animals.
Over the years, I have also volunteered my time for smaller organisations like the Cinnamon Trust, Puppy Love Campaigns, Holbrook Animal Rescue, and more. From graphic design and video editing, to dog walking, sorting dinner and cleaning animal cages... I'm not just a pen pusher!
I have also organised fundraisers for causes I am passionate about, check out a couple of examples below.
I first heard about Andy and Bailey after seeing a video shared on Facebook by Channel 4. I was so touched by Andy's story and to hear how Bailey helped him to sobriety, and I wanted more than anything to help them both get back on their feet. I contacted the charity StreetVet who helped put me in touch with Andy.
He told me he was clean and off the streets and had even managed to secure his own flat for himself and Bailey. But he was struggling to start up his life again from scratch. He had nothing, not a fridge or a cooker - the things most of us take for granted.
I arranged a fundraiser to give a bit of a helping hand, and after contacting friends and family and sharing his appeal online, we almost doubled the money we hoped to raise. Andy emailed me when I transferred funds to him:
“As well as literally helping us get by, your wonderful selves re assured me that humanity isn't all bad, there is still compassion and beauty inside some of us. We love & respect u massively and if nothing else you have made a massive difference in my small life. Love life, be happy xxxxxxxx”
Really pleased to say that Andy and Bailey are doing well, and that Andy has since become an ambassador for StreetVet.
BLACKIE THE STRAY
On almost any given visit to Cyprus you will sadly see plenty of stray cats. Some are well fed (by locals and tourists alike) and seem to live pretty well, as far as living as a stray cat goes. However, in 2017, whilst on a holiday in Protaras, I met one little fellow who didn't have it so good.
A little black kitten - that I named Blackie - would hang around outside our hotel, waiting for scraps from tourists. I quickly befriended him, and each evening at dinner I would pinch slices of ham or beef from the buffet, wrap them up in a napkin, and take them outside to feed him and his little friends.
I noticed right away that Blackie had some kind of eye infection. As the days passed, the infection seemed to get worse, and one day his eyes were almost completely glued shut.
I had to help him, and after some research I found an expat animal rescuer on the island, called Lynn Gandy, who knew exactly what to do. Lynn helped me trap Blackie and get him to the vets. He was treated for a severe eye infection, that if left for much longer would have left him blind.
He needed to spend several weeks at the vets, and with no insurance, I knew I would struggle to pay his vets fees. And I couldn't let Lynn pay for the treatments - she was already in debt from saving countless other strays on the island. So I set up a JustGiving page and managed to raise a few hundred to cover the cost.
Lynn didn't want to release Blackie back to being a stray on the island - apparently in Cyprus it's common for cats to be poisoned and hunted with dogs once the tourist season is over. So she managed to find a permanent home for him in the UK! That's when I knew the fundraising journey wasn't over - we needed passports and flights to pay for!
Along with some of my own money, we raised £700 for Blackie's recovery and trip to the UK. Check out some pictures from his journey below.
Blackie's first night in his new home