After 20 years at our former HQ in Beddington Park, we surrendered the premises back to our landlords on 14th December 2016, having decided that we could not meet the demand for a significant rise in the rent on top of the increasing number of other cost pressures we were facing.
The premises also required a major re-fit in order to comply with current standards in building regulations and aspects of health and safety legislation as well as to make them more fit for our needs. The cost of this re-fit would have amounted to between £60-80k, something we could not justify investing in buildings that did not belong to us and where we felt our tenure was becoming increasingly insecure.
The Charity has withdrawn from providing direct animal welfare services whilst it undertakes a complete review of its future plans and direction. Our aspiration remains to have a facility of our own once again but the location, scale and timing for this will be dependent upon the following factors:
1) Our ability to raise the necessary funds to purchase land and buildings, carry out such works as may be necessary to suit them to our needs and to then equip them accordingly. This is likely to take at least two years, but probably longer, and is dependent upon significant legacy income.
2) Sourcing a suitable location where there is a clear need for our service and a suitable supporter base to sustain us financially. This may well involve a re-location some distance from the area where we have always worked i.e South London/Surrey, at least for our primary facility.
3) The ability to recruit and retain the necessary clinical, welfare and administrative staff as well as an appropriate number of volunteers to properly run a facility in line with current and future legislation as well as recognised best practise.
In order to progress our aims, we will be taking the opportunity afforded to us over the coming 12 - 18 months to undertake a complete restructuring of the charity and a review of all our policies, controls and protocols. If we are to be able to run a facility again, this work will be the foundation upon which it is built and, as such, represents the most important stage of the entire process.
During that time, we do want to be able to contribute in other ways to animal welfare, both wild and domestic, and we will be looking at ways in which we can do this. This work will, most likely, take the form of grant-making, mentoring and partnership projects involving welfare and research. Details of this work will appear on our News and Projects Page.
The Charity is currently based at a small office within a business centre in Croydon, but this office is only staffed on an ad-hoc basis and so any communication with us will be via post or email as we are rarely available to take telephone calls. For details of how to get in touch, please see our Contact Us page.
Although we are fundraising for new premises, for the time being this will only involve looking at major grant sources and anticipated legacy income. We are not soliciting donations form the public or running a membership scheme at the current time but if and when this changes, as we hope it will as our plans progress, we will post details here of how you can help and get involved.
Until then, my thanks for all your past support and for the help I hope you will give us in the future.
Ted Burden, Founder, for and on behalf of the Trustees of London Wildcare.
12th February 2017