The PBC Foundation is the only UK based organisation that specifically deals with PBC.
Our annual volunteer conference in Edinburgh last week end was inspirational for me in many ways. In spite of the difficulties faced by many of us, ultimately the message I received was a positive one that gave me and the staff a lot of heart.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and each has a fascinating story to tell, sometimes extremely sad but without exception, peppered with humour, care, love and kindness for ones fellow man and women. Why else would they be volunteers for our charity?
Including our AGM and Trustees meeting, the event for me lasted three days including evenings and I don’t mind saying, I was exhausted by Sunday early afternoon.
Edinburgh is hosting one of the largest Science Festivals in the UK and on Sunday afternoon after the conference, I was invited (along with my dog Holly Jones) to listen to a talk on the value of keeping a pet. I thought I had that one pretty much covered but boy did I hear some amazing facts.
How lovely to learn of the Blue Cross and the incredible work being done by their staff and their much needed and highly trained volunteers. Animals that shall we say have been neglected or hurt in some way need a lot of time patience and healing. No surprise to learn that this is the same for some children but obviously to a much deeper level. Wonderful to learn that all parties work together to bring about the most amazing transformation and recovery that can help all concerned in well organised workshops.
Children are asked what things they do to help the rescue animal when they were eventually found a new home. Responses from the youngsters were amazing, cuddly toy for the animal’s bed, a new blanket or indeed, they were happy to make a noisy toy for the animals to take away with them on their new journey.
The cats, dogs, rabbits etc after a lengthy and gradual introduction with the children, were happy to be to be stroked, played with and generally loved.
Homeless people living on the street quite often have a dog companion with them, although there is some accommodation which will take dogs with their owner, there is not enough to go round. You may ask why a homeless person would have a dog – I can figure that out given Holly is one of my closest ‘friends’!
Inspiring to learn that veterinary students in their final year volunteer to help these dogs in a clinic called ‘Paws4all’. The service is overseen by qualified vets and is free for all the homeless who have a dog companion. Thanks Dr Jill Findlay for this inspiring and relaxing hour.
By early evening I was absolutely exhausted and can barely remember climbing the stairs to bed. What I do remember thinking is what a positive difference so many people make to the lives of others, human or otherwise. As I am always saying, we need to leave this world just a wee bit better than how we found it – last weekend I saw this in spades!