Community and voluntary organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie welcome the opportunity to be able to refer people to Rosie’s Trust. As Macmillan’s Information and Support Manager, Amy Wilson, wrote in May 2022:
“The relationship people have with their pets can often provide an emotional haven when trying to deal with a cancer diagnosis. Flagging energies, dealing with treatments or attending appointments can limit their capacity to care for their pets in the way they have done previously. Being able to signpost patients to Rosie’s Trust has been such a relief as we know that it puts patients’ minds at ease knowing that their pet is being looked after.”
She adds that they are keen to see Rosie’s Trust grow and expand its reach across Northern Ireland:
“The demand for this service is ever increasing and it would be great if it could be offered in every corner of Northern Ireland so no matter where you live, people affected by cancer can avail of this fabulous service.”
Rosie’s Trust volunteers signpost beneficiaries to community and voluntary organisations, where appropriate. This signposting was invaluable during the height of the pandemic, for example, when we needed to refer people to groups that could assist with food parcels, prescription collection/deliveries, and so on.
Rosie’s Trust also works closely with a wide range of animal charities, as and when needed.
Rosie’s Trust also works on a daily basis with four of the five Health and Social Care Trusts (we do not yet have a presence in the Western Trust area but are aiming to do so shortly). Indeed, most of our referrals come from the local Health and Social Care teams. We work closely with Social Workers and Community Care Teams as a result of our daily visits to vulnerable members of the community and alert the relevant social worker and/or care team when we have a concern about the beneficiary’s welfare. We also work closely with local government Animal Welfare Officers.
According to one Social Worker from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Rosie’s Trust has provided a “life line” to one of her clients:
“The service you have been providing for Mary by taking her dog for a walk and offering short term fostering has been a life line for her… Prior to Rosie’s Trust intervention Mary had no one to care for her dog when she went into hospital or into respite and she was unwilling to avail of the services offered. This has changed now that Rosie’s Trust can offer her pet short-term fostering. The service Rosie’s Trust offers Mary has enhanced her life as she has built up a friendship with the volunteers calling who are now a part of her daily routine.”
Rosie’s Trust is delighted that the corporate sector has also recognised the value of our work in various ways since our establishment. In 2022, for example, we were nominated Charity of the Year for the NI Pet Awards and for Earlswood Veterinary.
We also received financial support when the teams at Earlswood Veterinary and Hollygate Veterinary Clinic, for example, got together to apply for a community grant, made available from the Practice’s parent company, IVC Evidensia. Rachel Dunlop, Clinical Director with Earlswood Veterinary, explained:
“We are delighted that we availed of £1,000 to support the great work that Rosie’s Trust does. The donation will contribute to support the existing network of volunteers dedicating their time to care for the pets whilst their owners are going through a difficult time and allowing the strong link between the owner and their pet to endure. Rosie’s Trust’s work is very important to our team here at Earlswood Veterinary and at our branch, Hollygate Veterinary Clinic”.
We were also the proud recipient of the UK-wide Petplan & ADCH Animal Charity Team of the Year 2022 Award. Appropriately, the award was accepted at a ceremony in London by one of our Dog Listener Volunteers, Hilary Idzikowska.
Rosie’s Trust is hugely grateful to the Publicity Association of Northern Ireland (PANI) for choosing us to be the recipient of their annual pro bono marketing campaign in association with Ulster University. This ran for two weeks in late March/early April 2022 and involved a series of bus posters and billboards in Belfast and selected regional centres.
Susannah Hylands of ASG and PANI Education Lead said they had chosen Rosie’s Trust because the charity had identified an important emotional need that is all too often forgotten when people’s personal circumstances dramatically change. She added:
“We are delighted to be able to raise awareness of the work of Rosie’s Trust and commend them for the fantastic work they do.”
Rosie’s Trust also enjoys a partnership with Queen’s University Belfast whereby psychology students undertake placements with us and assess the emotional impact of our work on the wellbeing of our beneficiaries.
We very much hope to be able to increase this large network of individuals and organisations we work with, not only by increasing our presence throughout Northern Ireland but also in those communities where we are already operating.