New Venue!

Gap's autumn show being held on Sunday 1st October 2017 has had to have a last minute change of venue!!  Thank you to everyone who pulled out the stops at the last minute to help us find an alternative.

The show is now being held at:

Cannock Chase (next to Cannock visitors centre)

Marquis Drive Cannock WS12 4PW.  

Nothing else changes... the show opens at 11am and runs until approximately 4.30pm and entry to the ground is free.

There are 12 fun dog show classes startiing at 12pm. Entry to the classes is £1 per dog per class, to be paid on the day

Most Handsome Dog
Prettiest Bitch 
Best Black Dog
Best Smooth Coat 
Best Rough Coat 
Best Gap Rescue 
Best Non Gap Rescue 
Best Puppy (under 18 months) 
Best Senior (8 years and over) 
Best Brace/Group –
Dog the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home 
Open Class (any dog that hasn't won a rosette)
Best in Show

Lisa, Gap's founder, launches the "Help Us Seal The Deal Appeal" with the following words...


Dear gawd, please bear with me as this is going to be so long and so rambling and I simply have no idea how to put it all into words. I will start with the exciting bit, I hope as we are you will all be extremely proud of that news, the input over the years you have had and how close we are to the final dream...then I will continue on.

14 years ago I had the mad idea to set up a *co ordination* only rescue. A rescue that would save lives, move those lives to other safe facilities and then continue on happily moving more. Within 12 months that dream clearly showed us it was not that easy and there would need to be another path. Thats when Greyhound Gap in its whole entirety was born.

Fast forward 7 years and the realisation that we had quite the reputation for being one of the front leading welfare organisations in the UK able and willing to deal with the more difficult dogs and with mounting private boarding kennel costs for rehabiliation purposes it became evident our end game needed to be our own property.

Fast forward again to 2015 with private boarding costs amounting to £8000 a month we managed to finally secure a lease on our own premises at a rental of £5000 a month and more excitingly with it the option to purchase. A purchase that would drop that rental from £5000 a month to just £1800 a month in mortgage payments.

However to seal that deal needing a commercial mortgage we needed to raise a vast amount in down payment to be precise 30% of the property cost plus additional for goodwill and to make sure it was a fair price to the vendor our landlord! The amount we were talking was around £240,000 and it makes me extremely pleased to say that with legacies saved and ringfenced and individual donators and fundraisers souly aiming quietly behind the scenes to raise funds for JUST the purchase over the last 8 years we have the money we need in place. That left us needing a loan to secure purchase of £350,000......

NOW THE REALLY EXCITING NEWS:-
(and this is the bit where I get both teary, excited and stressed even typing it because I can not tell you how far from joyous this experience is and how horrific behind the scenes it has all been. At 44 years of age I have felt I am heading for my first stroke and taking the other trustees with us)

WE HAVE BEEN MADE A FORMAL LOAN OFFERED HAVING PROVED OUR WORTH AND HAVE ACCEPTED!!

We are just awaiting a report on title then we are clear to go ahead and purchase! Yes, thats right we are now 95% of the way to reducing our outgoings and securing our dogs future for ever and to allow Greyhound Gap to continue to be here serving the dogs through if necessary future generations once we are all long gone.

Having budgeted and planned for all this for 8 years I do have to laugh when I see random property fundraisers being launched. I thought WE were prepared but nothing and I mean nothing prepares you for the horror of the red tape, the crossing the i's and dotting the t's and the amount of work necessary. The fees now are getting huge. Around £12,000 worth of huge to be fair. Is really is not simple.....

Valuers, surveyors, searches even though they had all been carried out before we took the lease on needed doing again, insurance, indpendant financial advice to satisfy the bank and the charities commission that we are acting in the rescues best interests. The banks solicitors fees which are £4000 our solicitors fees which are £2500 and so much more I could go into BUT it has to be done. The fees are now the only thing that has gone over expected budgeted for costings and the £3500 1% arragement fee could not be factored into the loan either. Its not as simple undertaking this when you are a charity as it is when you are a business!

The plain and simple fact is that no matter how wonderful our supporters are the bank wont just accept that. We have had to prove our worth through business plans, prove that non of our revenue streams are singular and that we work hard to help ourselves.

Not one single penny so far has been taken away from the dogs and once again we want to help ourselves to raise above and beyond with the legal fees so this weekend on Friday 22nd September, six of our wonderful volunteers will be sleeping over with the kennels dogs in the hope to kick start our appeal and in the hope we can start to raise some of the costings back. We are more than alive to the fact that we are heading into Winter a time when fundraising oppurtunities dry up so WE are willing with your help to do anything possible we can to safeguard our reserves.

If you have stuck with me this far thank you! There is so much I could say about how hard we have all worked mainly quietly and frustated behind the scenes on this the last 8 months but we are now on the homeward stretch!

If any of our loyal supporters can think of any other ways to fundraise or is willing to sell cakes at work, hold a carboot for us this weekend or run naked through the streets at this point in time we would be honoured and grateful. Other than that if you can root behind the sofa and put in those lose pound coins again we would be appreciative. I have set up a Just Giving page below.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lisa-cartwright38

A couple of months ago people BEGGED me to put up a Just Giving page so that people could help with the purchase by donating small amounts and I held off until the right time. We had a feeling that the fees would end up higher and now is that time and the reason I held off.

In advance once again I cant thank you all enough.

Friday night, as a precursor to the sleepover, we will be holding a curry night at the kennels if anyone would like to join us.

Gap will be holding it's autumn fun all breed dog show on Sunday 1st October 2017 at  ***CHANGE OF VENUE*** Cannock Chase (next to Cannock visitors centre) - Marquis Drive Cannock WS12 4PW.  

The show opens at 11am and runs until approximately 4.30pm and entry to the ground is free.

There are 12 fun dog show classes startiing at 12pm. Entry to the classes is £1 per dog per class, to be paid on the day

Most Handsome Dog
Prettiest Bitch 
Best Black Dog
Best Smooth Coat 
Best Rough Coat 
Best Gap Rescue 
Best Non Gap Rescue 
Best Puppy (under 18 months) 
Best Senior (8 years and over) 
Best Brace/Group –
Dog the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home 
Open Class (any dog that hasn't won a rosette)
Best in Show

The winning dog in each class receives a trophy, dogs placed first to third receive a goody bag and dogs placed first to fifth receive a rosette. In the 'Open Class' ALL dogs entered receive a rosette. We invite all winners of classes to stay for Best in Show. The winner of Best in Show and the Reserve Best in Show both receive additional trophies, prizes, goody bags and rosettes. 

In addition to the show classes, there will be a variety of stalls at the show including catering, merchandise and other rescues as well as the 'Fastest Recall' competition that will run throughout the day.   There is always a fabulous raffle to raise further funds for Gap. Donations to the raffle are very welcome and should be taken to the main Gap stall - tickets for the raffle can be purchased throughout the day.  There will be charity stalls, trade stalls, refreshments, cakes, dog treats and much much more!

The show is very accessible to all with parking at the side of the show area and also at the Arboretum car park, where the toilets are also located (including disabled toilets). 

We ask that all dogs attending the show are kept on lead and are under control at all times. We also ask that everyone bears in mind particularly that this is an ALL BREED show and that your dog is muzzled if necessary. 

We hope that you will have a wonderful day and whether you are a regular attendee at our shows or are coming for the first time we look forward to seeing you and your dogs there!

 

It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that one of very special sponsor dogs, Twirl, has left us.

Today we lost a living legend one of our supported hounds and one of the main reasons we do what we do.....Twirl Harrison. Twirl landed with us at 5 years of age what seemed at first a relatively straight forward little black greyhound bitch. Instead what we soon realised she was was a fiery, fiesty, running, shouting and redirecting head the ball but with it all as sweet and loving as you can imagine. Funnily enough nobody wanted to offer this little ball of lightening a forever home and she kept get over looked. We decided it was in Twirls best interests to remain under our umbrella for life and find a permanent foster home willing to treasure her with all her odd quirks and see the girl beneath and that is exactly what she found with Jo Harrison, Steve and Joanna' s lovely Mum who sadly also left us last year. We can not thank them enough for opening up their heart and home to this wonderful and most special of girls and giving her the shelter of the family she deserved. Our hearts very much go out to them all at this most sad times.

Sleep tight Whirly, Twirly girlie you were loved beyond belief by your family and your extended Gap family and it's hard to believe your bright, wonderful light has left the world. Loved always Princess..

Just in case you'd not noticed we have launched our brand new, sparkly, shiny, new website! We are all excited to see our old site dragged kicking and screaming into a more up to date, funky layout and above all... mobile device friendly!! It's been a while in the making and we are absolutely delighted with the results.

A huge heart felt thank you goes to Proweb.net for giving us an amazing design to work from and for their patience and hand holding every step of the way as we found our way around all the background bits and bobs. Proweb have been incredibly supportive and extremely generous, the whole team are utterly fabulous and are to be highly recommended.

We hope you like the new site as much as we do.

We have just received some very very exciting news for Greyhound Gap as a rescue. Ground breaking news we are extremely proud of and with it comes many many thank yous.

We have been successful in getting funds, with our community partner, Newcastle Borough Council from the Proceeds of Crime Fund run by the Police and Crime commissioner Matthew Ellis. Many thanks to Robin Wiles Partnerships locality officer who has worked with us to secure this funding.

The money nearly £14,000 will fund Greyhound Gaps work on a project called DAASH-IN (Dog Awareness Agility and Handling) - Improving Social Inclusion project. The money will allow us to purchase state of the art agility and dog rehabilitation equipment for Greyhound Gap; secure the fencing and create a new paddock area and also to replace the rotting roof on the storage lock up. We will also be receiving full staff training for all members of staff from suitably qualified persons.  It will be the first scheme of its kind in the community we believe UK wide that will enable us to enhance our work with the community payback offenders to improve the welfare of the dogs, whilst giving valuable training and skills to our service users. The equipment will ultimately become an integral part of the growing facilities offered by Greyhound Gap to its dogs and the wider community.

Last year we applied and were turned down based on the fact not enough evidence was available to prove that the scheme would be beneficial to those we already welcome into the premises via the community payback scheme. That was because there was simply nothing else like it! Not to be out off we reapplied once the already in place programme started to see results. We whole heartedly believe that through agility we will build a better relationship between the dogs and handlers (community payback service users) and in the longrun this will have a positive impact on their impulse control and confidence through patient handling alongside the dogs. Once in place we aim to look to other ways to expand the scheme over the next 2 years, hopefully by inclusion of younger people in the surrounding areas who would also benefit from these skills.

Greyhound Gap aims to continue to build on community relationships and other exciting projects are already being discussed that we hope to implement in future times. We also need to offer thanks to the probation services for their continued support and input during our application, the local community dog wardens for their support and also our local PCSO who agreed to come on board.

The biggest thanks has to go to Marilyn James who handled the completion of the application on our behalf and for being able to understand and articulate our vision. Thank you Marilyn.

We hope to undertake the necessary work to the premises to allow the scheme to come to fruition throughout August and then order equipment and start staff training throughout September before staring to implement the scheme in stages.  We are pretty damn proud and team Gap really DO rock!  Exciting times ahead!

 

Back in the spring work began to tidy an overgrown, ex-vegetable patch behind the kennels house into something quite special. As always the Gap team rose to challenge of turning this mini jungle into something beautiful...

 

The patch has been transformed to a most beautiful memorial garden; a tranquil and peaceful place where we can remember our hounds and loved ones. Shrubs. plants and flowers have replaced the rotten old raised veg beds, hound garden sculptures and pawprint pavers feature throughout, hanging baskets bring colour to the fencing, coloured lanterns are dotted around and there are some seating areas in place. In the centre a small pond gives safe haven to newts and a metal bridge over provides the focal point of the garden.

It is from this bridge sponsored memory tags will be hung as a permanent and fitting tribute to to anyone (four or two legged!) who we miss and want to remember. Absolutely anyone can sponsor a memory tag and know that it'll remain a permanent feature in our memory garden. This also creates a way for others, who are too far away to visit, to be a part of our kennels and community. We hope our garden will grow and flourish and become a very special place for us all.

 

Sponsored memory tags come in a variety of sparkling coloured pawprints and can be engraved with your chosen message. More details on how you can sponsor a tag can be found here.