Free rugby at theatre

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Rugby Union fans around the globe are avidly following the fortunes of the various nations in the Rugby World Cup, especially if one of the teams is from their own country.

The group stages end this coming weekend, then the last eight teams go into the knockout stages.

Embarrassingly for this time’s host nation England, its team has become the first in the competition’s history not to qualify for those knockout stages. Yes, with one group game still to play, England knows it cannot reach the quarter-finals. It will be playing Uruguay purely for the honour of winning.

The England team’s fate was decided by losing successive matches to Wales and Australia, both at England’s home ground of Twickenham, over the last week.

It means that Wales face Australia this Saturday to decide the winner and runner-up of group A. This is important as the winner will face the runner-up of group B, likely to be Scotland, while the runner-up will play the winner of group B, almost certainly South Africa.

So, it is great to see that North Wales rugby fans are being given to watch this key match live at Theatr Colwyn. And when I say ‘given’ I mean just that. There will be no charge. It is a tremendous community benefit provided by theatre management.

It is an example of extremely forward thinking by a really progressive management team that deserves to see its theatre packed out.

Actually, Theatre Colwyn is getting used to capacity audiences. As well as live theatrical performances, its progamme includes films as well as live screenings of major live performances elsewhere.

For example, the National Theatre’s production of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. This has proved to be in so much demand that the live screening is sold out and the theatre has now announced that it will be having what it calls an ‘encore’ screening on another evening. This is its term for showing of a recording made in Theatr Colwyn of the live performance.

And it is made possible by the installation of a hi-tech, state of the art, digital projector a couple of years, or so, ago.

So, rugby fans will be able to see all the action on Saturday evening on a cinema-sized screen, presented using digital equipment for the very best in both visual and sound quality. That will be a real treat for anyone unable to travel to see the match itself.

Theatr Colwyn, alongside its bigger ‘sister’ Venue Cymru, is owned by the local authority – Conwy County Borough Council. However, to the credit of the councillors, it does not seem to have its ambitions curtailed by excessive amounts of red tape.

As well as being a theatre and cinema, it is also the home of Oriel Colwyn, a gallery that has a continuous variety of exhibitions of art and photography. It is a delightful place to see and often welcomes visitors from around the world. So, wherever in the world you live, if you find yourself in the seaside town of Colwyn Bay do drop in. You will be assured of a warm welcome by manager Philip and his team.

Showing we care

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Not quite sure why but World Animal Day crept up on me; maybe it was the careful stealth of its approach – like a cat stalking its prey.

Anyway, here it is. Today, 4th October, is World Animal Day, chosen because it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Perhaps we should remember, too, that the Pope chose Francis as his name in honour of St Francis.

So, why do we have a world day for animals? In short, to get people involved in getting a better future for animals.

The lives of animals are profoundly affected by the actions of individuals, businesses, and nations.  It’s therefore essential that, as sentient beings, their rightful status as recipients of social justice is established and translated into effective animal protection.

And it is at this point that I feel it is necessary to state my utter distaste for the recent comments made by Princess Michael of Kent when she said that animals do not have “rights” because they cannot pay taxes.

WAD-horse-2_editedSpeaking at a literary festival in the UK, she said: “We’re always hearing about animal rights. Well, I’m a great animal lover, and involved in a lot of conservation, but animals don’t have rights. They don’t have bank accounts, they don’t vote.

“We have an obligation to animals but to say they have rights? You only have rights if you pay your taxes. You earn your rights.”

As a self-professed animal lover who once hand-reared a cheetah, Princess Michael seems to have missed the point. She is saying that as animals cannot do certain human things, they cannot enjoy the same rights as we do. But they surely do have animal rights; they are sentient creatures and they need to be cared for with kindness and fairness as well as being provided with all they need.

World Animal Day organisers say: “Through increased awareness and education, we can help develop a compassionate culture which feeds into legal reform and social progress to make this world a fairer place for all living creatures.  A world where animals are recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

Hopefully, increased awareness linked with better education, for both adults and children, will gradually but steadily WAD-fox-2_editedinfluence attitudes of people towards treating animals in the humane and compassionate way in which they deserve and to which they have a right.

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*As writer of this blog, it is necessary to make it clear that I am in favour of the humane treatment of all animals but am not a vegetarian. I have years of experience in agricultural journalism and believe that animal farming for the provision of meat can be carried out with compassion and kind treatment. I am, however, opposed to the killing of any animals for their skins, furs or any other parts. Similarly, I reject the need for the use of animals in laboratory testing of cosmetics or any other product developed for mankind. There may be justification for limited animal use in the field of medicinal research.

Guide Dogs Week – still time for your support

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Guide Dogs are valued around the world. This one is working in Brazil.

GUIDE DOGS Week, halfway through

Service or assistance dogs, those wonderfully intelligent and friendly creatures, are known throughout the world for their dedication to their owners. They can be hearing dogs, guide dogs or provide another form of invaluable help.

Well, today (Wednesday) is the halfway point of Guide Dogs Week in the UK and it runs until the 11th. The Guide Dogs for the Blind charity is encouraging people to Stand Out for Guide Dogs, part of which is to take a photograph of yourself highlighted in neon paint. It is fun and looks impressive.

The charity says: “We will not rest until people who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

“Every hour another person in the UK goes blind. We need your help to make sure that when someone loses their sight they don’t lose their freedom as well.”

During Guide Dogs Week you can help change more lives and create more partnerships. I urge you to do all that you can to help this great cause.

Many years ago, I was a member of a young men’s service organisation called Round Table. Our chosen charity that year was the Guide Dogs and through effort and determination we raised enough to pay for the training of a dog.

A few years later, I found myself volunteering as an adult leader in the Scouts. Our cub pack was raising money for the same charity and was successful enough to be able to choose a name for a dog. We held our meetings in the church hall, so we named her after the saint of the church.

In the last couple of weeks, twice these fantastic animals have caused me to think of their bravery and commitment to the task they have been expertly trained to carry out.

The first was an incident in which a taxi driver reversed his vehicle onto a pavement (sidewalk in the US) and into a young, newly trained guide dog and her owner. The fact that the pavement was in use seemed not to bother him and the car did not stop until the blind man realised what was happening and tapped on it with his cane.

Police were called but no action is being taken against the driver who has said he is going to claim damages from the blind person for denting the taxi. That is ridiculous, isn’t it? Luckily, the dog only suffered bruising but we don’t yet know if her training will be enough to overcome the shock of the incident.

The second dog is Lara, a yellow Labrador. After just four years’ service, she has been found to be suffering from a birth defect that could not be discovered at an early stage and so she needs help. Her female owner decided to retire her in March this year and, speaking to her just the other day, I asked when she can get a new guide dog. I thought that she would have a new guide living alongside the retired one.

lara2In fact, she won’t have another guide dog while Lara is still with her. Her words brought tears to my eyes.

“My mobility had to come second to her needs.. I am waiting until Lara is no longer with us, wouldn’t be fair, she has a lot of needs so she has to come first.

“I wouldn’t have had it any other way, she took care of me for nearly four years, kept me safe. Now it’s my turn to take care of her and give her the best life I can with the huge restrictions she has. Sadly her working life was very short, she was an amazing guide dog, so intelligent she qualified early, best in her year. She’s a very spoilt lady now!”

And repaying Lara’s dedication and service with such love means that this woman is once again getting about using a white cane.

Such a two-way bond of love and trust is just beyond words.

 

Retired Guide Dog Lara enjoying the sofa.

 

  • You can find Lara’s owner on Twitter @barefoot&paws

 

 

 

 

Ambulance targets ditched for 90% of emergency calls

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If you have a target that you fail to achieve year after year, there is a simple answer. Just tear up the rules and start again.

It’s what is sometimes called ‘moving the goalposts’ – and there really is no better description.

Ambulances have target response times, not just where you live but almost everywhere. In Wales, UK, the target is to reach 65% of emergency incidents in eight minutes. But, after seven consecutive months of improving to 61.7% – so target was still missed – in August the success rate fell to 58.8%. The September figure is not yet available.

So, now a new system for dealing with emergency 999 calls for ambulances in Wales has come into force and response time targets will be scrapped for all but life-threatening cases during a one-year trial.

Calls will now be graded and it is estimated only 10% of the 420,000 ambulance emergencies a year will be coded “red” for the most critical.

Welsh Ambulance Service chief executive Tracy Myhill tried to put some spin on the slackening of the targets by saying that the new system was based on clinical evidence and put the sickest patients first.

Under the new system, emergency telephone operators will assess how serious each incident is and despatch ambulances in the order of severity and according to predetermined classifications which are colour-coded like traffic lights.

Life-threatening emergencies are the top priority, coloured red – and it is only this group, the estimated 10%, to which the eight minute response time target still applies.

In the United States there are no official Federal or State standards for response times but they often do appear in contracts between communities and Emergency Medical Service providers.

This has led to considerable variations between standards in one community and another. New York City, for example, has a 10-minute response requirement on emergency calls, while other places have response time standards of up to 15 minutes.

It seems to be generally accepted within the emergency services field that an ‘ideal’ response time would be within eight minutes for 90% of calls but this objective is rarely achieved and current thinking questions whether or not that standard has ever been valid’.

As call volumes increase and resources and funding fails to keep pace with the growing demand, even large ambulance services find that they have difficulty in meeting the standards. So Wales is definitely not alone.

Whether it is right to change the rules and take 90% of emergency calls outside any response time target, however, is open to question.

I suppose that we will just have to wait and see how the new system works – or doesn’t.

Burlesque to be weekend of fun for all

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Pictures from the 2016 festival and, below, organiser and performer Kimberley Edmunds (Foxee Stole).

 

An even bigger and better weekend of fun and laughter is promised at the second annual North Wales Burlesque Festival to which cabaret artistes have now been added. And it is to take off over Friday 29th to Sunday 31st January.

The weekend of entertainment is all set to take place at the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno. It is £26.50 for the whole weekend which includes access to all shows, all workshops, the dealers’ hall, a museum and the film Gypsy on the Sunday night.

Friday will see the Rising Star/Seren yn Codi competition in which acts who are new to performing (less than two years) can enter. It is not just burlesque but is open to any type of act such as dancers, musicians, singers, magicians and sideshow acts. All are welcome. The  semi-finals will start at 3pm and the finalists will compete at 7pm. The winner(s) will receive a place in the 2017 gala show.

That will be followed by the Sioe Pysgod a Sglodion (fish and chip show) which will feature acts who are Welsh or live in Wales. It will be hosted by Llandudno magician Jay Gatling and there are singers (including Welsh language), a hypnotist, comedy, belly dancing and burlesque striptease.

burlesque 3On Saturday there are workshops all day in beginners’ burlesque, vintage hair, contemporary dance, hooping, dance fitness, life drawing, fashion and the history of burlesque. The evening show stars some of the best names in burlesque and cabaret including jugglers, singers, musicians, striptease artists, sideshow performers and pole dancers. Following this there will be a jam session where people can play music and dance.

On Sunday two workshops will be led by world famous photographer Neil Kendall. He was responsible for all the images for one of Dita Von Teese’s tours and was recently voted Vintage Photographer of the year at the national Vintage Awards. Neil is leading one session for models and one for photographers.

After these there is a chance for everyone to put the workshops into practice at the Sunday shoot where they can take images which may be used for their portfolios. The event will be closed on Sunday evening with the ‘onesie wind down’ when Gypsy will be shown on the big screen, giving everyone a chance to relax.

Through the ages

When people think of burlesque they generally think of strippers. It conjures up images of seedy little venues, nipple tassels and poorly executed dance routines that have no purpose other than to drag out the amount of time it takes for the girl on stage to take her clothes off. It’s similar to the way magicians are stereotyped as being the guy in a tux and top hat producing doves and sawing a lady in half.

Burlesque hasn’t always been this way. Before the 1920s it was a thriving art form that was the alternative comedy of its day. These shows would satirise or ‘burlesque’ politicians, celebrities, the upper classes and royalty. They would be full of music, comedy and dancing but were definitely adult shows, often using sexual innuendo to deliver their messages but there were no strippers.

Stripping wasn’t added until the 1920s and the reason was that the old burlesque circuit had started to crumble and theatre owners needed a cheap way to get bums on seats. At the time strippers would work backrooms of pubs for tips alone and so were quite happy to take their act in to an actual theatre. Of course, their male audiences followed but burlesque is an art form that men and women should be able to enjoy together.

For this reason, the North Wales Burlesque Festival concentrates on variety including acts such as jugglers, magicians, belly dancers, pole dancers, musicians, comedians, sideshow performers and acrobats. Unlike most burlesque shows, the focus is not on the performers who are removing their clothes. There will be something for everyone.

The  North Wales Burlesque Festival started in 2015 and was organised by Kimberley Edmunds (Foxee Stole) and Russel Erwood (Erwyd – yes, Erwyd the Jester). In 2016, the festival will have built on the previous success and looks to be well worth attending.

To check out exactly what will be happening and when as well, who will be appearing and to book tickets, visit the festival’s website at www.northwalesburlesque.com

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Execution stayed: Beyond reasonable doubt? Really?

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Richard Glossip.  (pic: Sky News)

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin granted a 37 day stay of execution an hour after the US Supreme Court today (Wednesday) refused to consider new evidence.

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After a long legal fight ending in a 3-2 split decision of judges in the state criminal appeal court, a man convicted of murder in the US state of Oklahoma was due to be executed by lethal injection today, Wednesday.

He had lost his final legal bid to avoid being put to death. Only the Governor could order a stay.

Now, I am not going to enter or even start a debate about the rights and wrongs of any country or, as in the US, any state having capital punishment as an ultimate sanction. But I am going to question the competency of a judicial system that has convicted this man, Richard Glossip.

Let’s look at the undisputed facts of the case.

Barry Van Treese, who owned an Oklahoma City motel, was murdered in 1997. At that time, Glossip, now aged 52, worked there.

Justin Sneed, a handyman at the motel, admitted killing Van Treese with a baseball bat but said Glossip had paid him to do it.

He denies any involvement and says he has been ‘framed’.

Strangely, there was no physical evidence linking Glossip to the crime, just the testimony of the then teenager Sneed who escaped the death penalty in return for testifying against Glossip.

Sneed is serving a jail sentence, while Glossip still faces the death penalty.

What I find peculiar is that without any physical evidence, the prosecution’s case depended solely on the word of the person who admits carrying out the murder. And he became a prosecution witness as part of a deal with the District Attorney; a deal that meant he did not have to face the death penalty for his actions.

So, the court in Oklahoma had the word of one man against another – with no physical evidence.

Now, I may be missing something here but it seems to me to be impossible for anyone on a jury to say, after considering the testimonies of both men, that Glossip was guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Hell, I would surely have had reasonable doubt.

But two juries did decide just that. Yes, somehow, he was convicted twice.

And that is why Richard Glossip’s life was almost ended today. I don’t know if Glossip is innocent but to me he was not proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt and that means he should have been acquitted.

It is often said that if you are not guilty you have nothing to fear. It seems that may not be true in all parts of the US.

British justice with understanding and compassion

Meanwhile, in the UK, a woman who admitted stabbing a man to death has had her prison sentence reduced from 7 years to just 3½ years. She had been cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.sarah sands

Her victim, Michael Pleasted, was a convicted paedophile and was on bail awaiting trial on further charges of sexual assault on young boys.

The judge stated that he had reduced the sentence to such a level because Sarah Sands, 32, (pictured right) had lost control and afterwards had given herself up to police, admitted what she had done, had not attempted to conceal or dispose of any evidence and had shown remorse through the investigation and trial.

He described it as an extraordinary case and also said the he had taken into account that Sands is a single mother.

I can think of more than a few people who would have happily done the same thing as this woman.

(Sarah Sands’s pic: Metropolitan Police/PA)

Sombrero Silly Students

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Oh dear, it’s the silly season again. Well, to be totally honest, students’ union officers at a British university have proved just how daft supposedly intelligent people can be. A prime example of such silliness was in clamping down on a bit of fun in the name of fighting ‘racism’ and following their own ill-thought out rules.

It all came about at the Freshers’ Fair held at the University of East Anglia. This is where new students go to find out more about various clubs and societies they may want to join and also some local businesses take the opportunity to introduce themselves.

And it was one of these commercial operations that ran into trouble. Why? You might well ask.

Pedro’s, a local Tex-Mex restaurant chose to give away sombreros, you know the type – the outsize Mexican hat, to promote their business.

That’s where the Ministry of Silly Walks Rules got involved in the form of the union officials. They moved quickly to stop Pedro’s staff giving out any more hats and even went around taking the hats from students who had accepted them.

Then, with all the pomposity and seriousness they could muster they said that they took that action because non-Mexicans wearing the traditional item of headwear could be seen as offensive.

A union spokesman stated that the handing out of sombreros breached a key advertising policy which was sent to all stall holders before the event, prohibiting any use of stereotypical imagery in advertising.

It says: “Discriminatory or stereotypical language or imagery aimed towards any group or individual based on characteristics will not be permitted as part of our advertising.” Apparently, the sombreros were seen as potentially offensive and even racist under the policy that lists 15 types of discrimination, some of which include colour, ethnic origin and nationality.

Now, anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time will know that my wife is American. So, I asked her two questions: First, I asked if an American restaurant in the UK chose to give away promotional Stetsons, the traditional cowboy hat, and she saw them worn by non-Americans of any ethnic origin at all, would she be offended. She answered NO.

Ok so far, so onto the second question: I knew Lisa had been to Mexico and I needed her first-hand experience. Do they sell sombreros to tourists as souvenirs? YES, she said. And are they offended when a non-Mexican wears one? NO, of course not, she answered.

That rather destroys the silly rules to which the students’ union officials were claiming to be adhering. If Mexicans in Mexico sell these hats to tourists, how can anyone believe that they can cause offence? It is just nonsense.

One fresher is reported by a student newspaper as saying: “”It’s ridiculous – it’s a comedy hat, not some sort of sacred religious dress. Who is going to get offended? Speedy Gonzales?”

I could not agree more.

And, while I commend the union for attempting to be inclusive and non-discriminatory, it does desperately need two things as a matter of urgency, a sense of humour and a good portion of common sense.

Cute toddler’s first steps on artificial leg

Bravery seems to be a recurring subject in my blog in the last few weeks. Now, a little girl is being hailed as being brave, alongside the heroes I have talked about in mountain rescue teams and lifeboat crews.

The little girl in question, no more than a toddler, is the subject of a You Tube video posted by the Amputee Coalition of America. It shows her taking her very first steps with her new prosthetic leg.

She is clearly delighted, stopping to blow raspberries, before walking onwards. She falls over but picks herself up and walks on to her dad who is waiting with his hands outstretched. When she reaches him, he picks her up for a cuddle.

The video shows an inspiring moment in the little girl’s life. It is a moment that shows the child’s determination to not let her amputation control her life. And it is a determination that is shared by many people with disabilities but it is also a great example to those who think that their problem means that they cannot do anything; to those that seem to believe that the world owes them a living.

For reasons of privacy, the name and information about the little girl have not been shared online, nor has the reason why her leg has ben amputated, but the heartwarming video has captured the attention of many on both You Tube and Facebook. One Facebook user wrote: “Puts into perspective all the stupid things we complain about when we see the bravery of this little one.” Another added: “This cute angel will do amazing things one day! She is a fighter!”

Those comments both hit the nail right on the head. The video certainly does put other issues into perspective and she may well go on to bigger and better things. This is one girl who is not going to let her amputation get in the way of her life. She is already accepting her prosthetic leg as completely normal for her.

But, is she being brave? Well, her spirit is obviously enviable. In the video, she falls down but gets up easily and carries on. That is what life is all about – other children do that too.

Owing to living with multiple sclerosis, I have serious mobility and balance problems. In fact, when I am not using a wheelchair, falling is an all-too-frequent event. The floor is one of my closest friends!

The trick, however, is to get up and get on with life.

This little one is coping with her disability in the only way she knows. It is not a position of her choosing and as such, while I admire her fortitude, she should not be burdened with being described as ‘brave’ or labelled a ’hero’.  They are such high aspirations to have to attain and then maintain. Similarly, I am not being brave in coping with my disability; she and I are both just doing what we can to overcome our difficulties.

Long may she be happy and able to grow up without being negatively affected by artificial leg.

Live for the future, let the past go

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Vicky Balch has every right to be furious with the awful hand dealt to her this year but she really must get a firm grip on her life and look to the future with a new, positive outlook. Otherwise she is going to have a truly miserable time of it.

On 2nd June this year, Vicky was one of several people injured and trapped in an accident on the Smiler roller coaster at Alton Towers, one of the leading theme parks in the UK.

Her injuries were so bad that, despite a series of operations, surgeons eventually had to amputate one of her legs. Another young woman also lost a leg as the result of the accident.

Vicky hit the headlines again today when she lashed out at the decision of Alton Towers bosses to re-open the ride. She is reported as saying that two senior bosses told her of their intentions, during a visit to her home. She said that they told her that they might be able to reopen the ride by the end of this year.

She is disgusted by the possibility of the ride being reopened at all, let alone within seven months of the incident. Is she right? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Before considering that, though, maybe we should take a look at her attitude to life in general since she suffered that terrible injury.

There is no doubt that the accident caused a considerable upheaval in Vicky’s life we can see that she has not yet been able to come to terms with it. In all likelihood, it is too soon. She is still suffering, still grieving for things she can no longer do.

“I’m very up and down at the moment,” she is reported having said. “Talking about things I can’t do any more makes me really emotional.

“I can’t walk my dogs and I can’t ring up my friends at uni and say, do you fancy having a drink tonight?”

Yes, she is in a bad place right now but, and I don’t mean to be unkind here, she has to realise that she is no worse off than some other people. She is using a wheelchair for travelling more than a very short distance, just like me. But she has now taken her first steps using a prosthetic leg, while I will still need a wheelchair.

Again, Vicky looked back instead of forward when considering her future when she said: “I feel less feminine now. The way people look at you, that’s a big thing for me. I liked the attention before but now they look at me in a different way. It’s horrible.

“After my first op I asked my mum, ‘Who’s going to want me like this?’ And I still think like that.” Well, while it is true that the guy she had been dating has now left the scene, I have no idea of what went on between them at that point and so will not comment on that.

However, looking ahead, Vicky is likely to meet men who are shallow and so avoid any possibility of a relationship with her but she will also meet some who see beyond her injury, beyond her prosthetic leg, and fall in love with who she is.

But first, she needs to let go of the past, accept the present and make the very best of the future. That’s the way to find happiness.

So, what about reopening the ride? Alton Towers’ management has discovered the accident was the result of human error. There was nothing wrong with the ride itself, they say. If that is true, as long as steps have been taken to eliminate an error such as this happening again and the authorities are happy, then put the accident in the past and let the ride be reopened.

And in the unlikely event that she is reading this: Vicky, we cannot change the past but what you do now will affect your life to come. You can make yours a great life, embrace it and live it to the full. Shape your life around what you can do now and what you can strive to achieve in the future.

In need of love and a safe home

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Like many other people who find themselves honoured in some way for their good works, Anne Owen said that being appointed an MBE in the UK’s 2015 New Year Honours was not just for her but also for her family and friends.

You often hear award recipients say that. They say it is as much for their team as themselves and, to a certain extent, it is true. There is no doubt that without close support the individuals concerned could not have achieved so much – but the award recipients are the really worthy ones.

Anne was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to animal health and welfare. anne-owen-380x502

She set up the North Clwyd Animal Rescue Centre in 1978 after she took in a stray dog. It is now the largest animal charity in North Wales (that’s in the UK, not the North Wales in Pennsylvania), rescuing more than 1,800 unwanted cats and dogs a year.

Reacting to her award, Anne said that she was really shocked and explained: “It’s not something I really think about, you just get on with life.”

Modestly, she added: “It’s nice that your work is recognised. It’s not just me, it’s my family and friends too.” True – and I’d add the animals too.

Of course, North Clwyd Animal Rescue is just one of numerous pets rescue organisations in various countries. And whether these are run by volunteers or larger charities with paid staff, volunteers are always welcome – as are people willing to give a pet a home.

I must admit to having a soft spot for the North Clwyd rescue centre as one day my then wife and I happened to meet volunteers with an exhibition stand in a local shopping centre. They also had a couple of dogs with them, dogs looking for their forever homes. Well, we fell in love with a large male border collie whose original name I now forget but we renamed him ‘Bryn’. We were even allowed to take him for a short walk. It was a match, we wanted him as much as he wanted a home and caring owners.

Of course, there was paperwork to be completed as well as a home check to be undertaken by the rescuers but within a few weeks, Bryn was with us. He was a softee and, at night, had to sleep in his basket in our bedroom. During the daytime he had a second basket downstairs but also had the freedom to run and play in our fields. He enjoyed a full and active life for many years until it was time for him to leave us. He was buried in one of our fields that he loved so much.

With Bryn as an inspiration, from that moment on our home was never without at least one rescue dog. At one time we had six.

So, if you would like a pet of your own, please don’t buy one without at least considering sharing your home with one that has needed the help of rescuers. They have a lot of love to give and in return just need your love and a forever home.

  • To contact North Clwyd Animal Rescue, you’ll find the website at: www.ncar.co.uk; on Twitter at @ncaruk; or on Facebook as NorthClwydAnimalRescue.
  • To find an animal rescue centre near you, just Google ‘animal rescue’ and your town’s name.