We here at Animal Friends are pet specialists; we only insure pets and our love of animals shines through in all we do. Whilst we are a pet insurance company we also do a great deal of charity work to try and help animal welfare both in the UK and around the world. We are very lucky in that we are able to earn a living by looking out for people’s pets and as such we feel that it is only right and fair to help animals less fortunate around the world.
Since the beginning of 2010 we have regularly donated large amounts of our money to animal welfare charities worldwide with the intention of donating at least £1 million to charity by the end of 2012. It is with great pleasure that we can announce a total donation of £762,198 to animal welfare charities worldwide so far. That is over three quarters of the way to our target and it is excellent to know that the money we have donated so far is going to such good causes.
Everyone at Animal Friends is passionate about both animals and the environment as a whole. As well as consistently donating money to charities, we encourage our employees to bring their pets into work and actively take part in anything animal-related outside of the workplace; just recently some of our staff took part in the 10k ‘Heartbreaker’ run with each of our participants raising £100 for a chosen animal welfare charity of their choice.
A worldwide charity that we have supported over the years is Gearing Up 4 Gorillas (GU4G) and a few months back we donated £5,000 to help fund a pedal powered cinema, part of the great ape film initiative. This system is excellent in that it enables the children of the remote local schools and villages to watch educational films about the mountain gorilla, simply by pedalling a bicycle. Most of these children will never have seen a film as there is no electricity in and around where they live and so this scheme truly is fantastic.
Linda Nunn, one of GU4G’s volunteers, brought the pedal powered cinema in to Animal Friends HQ in order to show us how it worked and let us experience the system for ourselves first hand. After helping to set up the equipment, the Animal Friends staff had a chance to use it and test our stamina levels. Taking it in turns to ride the bicycle, we all watched a short conservation film about the mountain gorilla and it really was heart-warming to realise that 75,000 children in over 100 schools would be able to see a film for the very first time all thanks to this pedal-powered system.
In addition to supporting large worldwide charities we also support the smaller charities in the UK; one such charity we regularly donate to is the Doris Banham Sanctuary where we permanently sponsor 4 of the kennels so that there is always room for a dog to stay and not be put down.
Rather than just relying on the normal way of donating to charities we like to find fresh ways of helping animal welfare. We have a grant initiative which means that any UK registered animal welfare charity can apply for a grant to help fund both short-term and long-term projects, a recent example being when Animates, a veterinary clinic based in Lincolnshire, applied for an urgent grant of £2,000 to build a new goat house which we approved straight away.
Internally we run an ‘Employee of the Month’ scheme whereby the outstanding member of staff for a month is allocated £3,000 to donate to a charity of their choosing; this further demonstrates that our staff are all personally involved or are supporters of charities of all kinds and sizes. It also allows us to continually develop our longstanding relationships with every charity we work with.
We also run a ‘Charity of the Month’ competition on our Facebook page, choosing 4 charities to take part. Our customers then vote throughout the month for the charity they feel deserves to be the winner with 1st place receiving a £5,000 donation from ourselves. However, 2nd place receives £2,000 whilst both 3rd and 4th place each receives a donation of £1,500 and so in our eyes, ‘everyone’s a winner’.
Animals are amazing beings and everyone here at Animal Friends HQ cannot stress enough how much we care about helping our cohabitants. Of course, the money we donate is generated by the business that we get from our policyholders and so every time someone takes out a policy with us they are donating to charity. Whilst our charity donations are going to good causes, the money would be useless if it weren’t for the kind, caring and generous souls who start up the charities in the first place. All we can do is continue to support such people in the hope that the money is helping them to keep up the excellent work of helping animals in need.