Our Community Programme Manager, Louise Wheeler, introduces our exciting new community work, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

My first months as Community Programme Manager have been very rewarding and interesting. I’ve admired and supported the work of Hope Rescue for years, and I am hugely grateful to their amazing team for my lovely, adopted lurcher Jem. 

I feel incredibly lucky to now be able to call myself part of this passionate, knowledgeable, and courageous team of animal lovers, committed to helping the most vulnerable dogs in our communities. 

In my previous roles, I’ve led teams on systems change projects for young people in charities and in education, as well as having a background in research. I’m passionate about working together with communities to find solutions that get the root of problems and I believe in working together to make the most of the strengths that already exist. 

I’m thrilled therefore to take on the challenge of developing a new programme of community support and outreach at Hope Rescue – made possible by the generous funding and support of the National Lottery Community Fund. 

My main focus over my first months in the job, has been on understanding our local communities need and how Hope Rescue can help. I’ve been speaking to other animal welfare charities both locally and nationally and connecting with community partners from a huge range of sectors such as local councils dog wardens, housing and homelessness, mental health, older people, children and families, community hubs, minoritised ethnic groups and cost of living support to find out the issues that are affecting members of the community. 

This is helping us to understand that although most people truly love their dogs, many are finding things incredibly hard right now due to lack of trustworthy advice and support. 

We hope that through our community work, we can help more owners and dogs to stay together, to promote positive, responsible dog ownership and work together to build communities where both dogs and people can thrive.  

I’m now making plans for delivering outreach events in local communities, alongside other community partners and looking at how we can offer one-to-one support to dog owners who are struggling. 

I am also exploring how we might be able to upskill and collaborate with other professionals to help tackle the root problems that lead to poor welfare and harm for both dogs and people. If you would like to talk to me about ideas for how we can develop our communities work or to explore how your organisation can work in partnership with Hope Rescue, please get in touch. 

Hopefully I can update on these plans in another blog very soon!

Contact Louise

Read more about the National Lottery Community Fund