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Blue Cross pet charity closes centres shedding 66 jobs

2021-7-5 21:45| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 19| 评论: 0

摘要: An animal rehoming charity has closed four of its centres, shedding 66 jobs in the process.Blue Cross centres in Cambridge, Lewknor in Oxfordshire, and Torbay and Tiverton in Devon closed on Wednesday ...


An animal rehoming charity has closed four of its centres, shedding 66 jobs in the process.

Blue Cross centres in Cambridge, Lewknor in Oxfordshire, and Torbay and Tiverton in Devon closed on Wednesday.

Thousands had signed petitions set up by volunteers and supporters to try to lobby for the shelters to remain open.

However, the charity said the closures reflected "changes beyond our control in the last year" and would save Blue Cross £1m per year.

The animal welfare charity, which has been working throughout the UK since it was founded in 1897, said following "in-depth consultations" with staff it was putting in place "a new structure to improve services and reach even more pets in need".

Blue cross campaignersIMAGE COPYRIGHTGEORGINA HERITAGE
image captionStaff, volunteers and supporters fought to keep the Oxfordshire branch up and running

"Sadly, it does include closing four rehoming centres in Oxfordshire, Cambridge, and Devon, but we will still remain in these areas to help pets in crisis and owners with nowhere to turn," Chris Burghes, Blue Cross's chief executive officer, said.

He said 66 members of staff had been made redundant, 25 of which were voluntary.

He added: "These changes will reduce our costs by £1m a year, improve our approach to pet care services locally and strengthen our ability to help more animals nationally."

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Staff and volunteers at Cambridge Blue Cross centreIMAGE COPYRIGHTLESLEY MACKIE
image captionThe Cambridge centre closed on Wednesday after almost 90 years

Any animals not already rehomed before the closures would be looked after in foster homes or taken to another of the charity's shelters, it said.

Supporters who campaigned to keep the centres open have questioned the charity's need to close them to save money.

Georgina Heritage, who petitioned to save the Lewknor centre, said staff there were "dumbfounded" when told it was not financially "viable" to make their newly-refurbished facilities "fit for purpose".

Former Cambridge volunteer Lesley Mackie, said: "All of us involved in the centre, and the others being closed, are all devastated."

Lesley Mackie and catIMAGE COPYRIGHTLESLEY MACKIE
image captionFormer volunteer Lesley Mackie with Arnie - one of her adopted Blue Cross cats

The charity said a new advice centre would be opening up in Cambridge at some point in the future.

Blue Cross's chairman, Tim Porter, said closing the centres was part of a three-year, UK-wide strategy "to reshape and expand our services", putting the charity on "a more secure financial footing" which would "help us towards our vision that no pet or owner goes without help".


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