If you had listened carefully you may have heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet at Appleby House care home in Epsom as residents welcomed a furry visitor, a Staffordshire bull terrier named Mr Jones, to collect a hamper of Christmas goodies on behalf of a local animal charity specialising in the care and rehoming of dogs.
Chock-full of donations from the team and relatives of residents at the home, the giant hamper had plenty of toys and tasty treats for all the dogs at Epsom Canine Rescue to enjoy on Christmas day and beyond.
Shona Bradbury, home manager at Appleby House care home, said: “Most residents at the home have lived in the area for decades, if not all their lives, so we feel it’s really important to be an active part of the community. We’re always keen to support local charities, so when we heard about Epsom Canine Rescue and how they were struggling in the run up to Christmas, we knew we had to help.”
Unfortunately, Epsom Canine Rescue, which is run completely by volunteers and funded solely by donations, found the festive break particularly tough. Nikki Weeks-Taylor from the charity said: “As many people know, Christmas is not a good time for rescue centres. Usually the clear out of unwanted ‘canine gifts’ doesn't start until after the Christmas period has ended, and late December had turned into a very un-merry Christmas – we were receiving calls on a daily basis.”
The team at Appleby House, who work hard to support charities and recently raised over £100 by organising a Christmas Jumper Day, is looking forward to developing a long lasting relationship with Epsom Canine Rescue and inviting the volunteers – and of course the dogs – into the care home on a regular basis.
The home, which has an excellent reputation for care and is fully compliant with the Care Quality Commission’s five standards of quality and safety, recognises the importance of animals as a benefit to residents, especially those with dementia or other health issues.
Joyce, a resident at Appleby House, said: “I love all dogs and Mr Jones is lovely and so friendly – it’s just a shame he doesn’t have a proper home, but we’ll make sure we give him and his friends plenty of attention whenever they visit.”
Barbara, another resident who enjoyed meeting the dogs and volunteers when she helped hand over the donations from the home, summed up the situation: “Lucky for us at Appleby House we have the resources and the heart to help the Epsom Canine Centre. We hope the dogs enjoy the toys that we collected for them.”
To find out more about Appleby House care home, please call 0333 4343 002. To make a donation or volunteer with Epsom Canine Rescue, please visit epsomcaninerescue.co.uk or call 01883 334515.