RCVS President makes Christmas donation to local cat re-homing and national educational charity - Veterinary Practice
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RCVS President makes Christmas donation to local cat re-homing and national educational charity

Iris’s Cats in Need and The Country Trust were chosen by Dr Mandisa Greene to each receive a £2,000 donation

A cat re-homing charity based in Stoke-on-Trent and a
national charity that helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds connect
with the countryside have been chosen as the recipients of 2020’s RCVS Christmas donation.

Iris’s Cats in Need and The Country Trust were chosen by Dr
Mandisa Greene, RCVS President for 2020-21, to each receive a £2,000 donation.
Every year the RCVS makes a donation to a charity of the President’s choice and
this year, in light of savings in postal and meetings costs, the College has
increased the total amount that can be donated to £4,000.

Commenting on the choices Dr Mandisa Greene said: “This
year has been a very tough one for charities big and small as they have had to
contend not only with the coronavirus but decreases in fundraising income and
opportunities to raise funds as a result. So I am very glad that, this year, we
have been able to increase the amount that can be donated to these good causes.

“For those who, like me, live in the Stoke area, Iris’s
Cats in Need is something of a local institution, not only in re-homing stray
cats with loving new families, but also in re-uniting lost cats with their
owners. This year many of our most vulnerable have had to contend with
increased isolation and loneliness and I know that cats and other companion
animals can act as a lifeline and a source of solace and comfort, so I am very
glad to be able to help Iris’s continue its wonderful work.

“As a national charity The Country Trust does excellent
work in helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds access the countryside
to learn more about food, farming and animals. As President I have commented on
the need to widen access to the veterinary professions as a career choice to
children from broader socio-economic, racial/ ethnic and other backgrounds and
the Country Trust, by exposing working in agriculture, animal welfare and
veterinary medicine to a broader range of children, is certainly helping in
this respect. I would also like to thank Navaratnam Partheeban, a member of the
RCVS Diversity and Inclusion Group who is a Trustee of the charity, for telling
me about its work.”

Commenting on the donation, Jill Attenborough, CEO of the
Country Trust, said: “I am thrilled that the RCVS has chosen our charity to be
one of the recipients and the donation comes at a really important time for the
charity as we gear up to meet the demand for our new programme, Farm in a Box,
which is proving really successful with schools who can’t come out on visits at
the moment, and also support those schools who can, to access the wonder of
real working farms.

“We are also in the process of organising school visits to
Royal Veterinary College’s Hatfield site, which is very exciting and we are
really keen to inspire children from all backgrounds to consider that this
might be something that they could go on to do. Food and farming offer so many
possibilities and the amazing children we work with have so much potential.”

Jean Clegg, the Treasurer for Iris’s Cats in Need,
commented: “”We are very grateful for this donation from the RCVS and to
Dr Mandisa Greene for nominating us. As is the case with many small charities,
it has been a challenging year and this has provided a real boost to us.

“The money will be used mainly towards paying for
veterinary care. Only this week, we rescued a kitten whose paw was caught in a
rat trap – sadly, he has had to have his leg amputated.

“The charity’s priority has always been stray and abandoned
cats. We try to treat every animal as if it were our own; this means providing
the best care we can give them, re-homing 500 to 600 cats a year.

“We became a Registered Charity in 1994 although Iris
herself was rescuing cats in Stoke-on-Trent long before that. We work with a
network of foster homes but one day we hope to have our own cats’ home in the

The charity donation is made
by the RCVS to a charity (or charities) chosen by the President every Christmas
in lieu of posting cards. Previous recipients in recent years have included the
Links Group, The Horse Trust, Medical Detection Dogs, Worldwide Veterinary
, Mind, Riding for the Disabled Association, Canine Partners, Hounds for
, Vetlife, the American Fondouk and StreetVet.

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