Welfare Corner: Let's #BeKind

This month, Beth Cooper from our Welfare Team urges everyone to #BeKind this Christmas.

This year has been difficult for everyone. With the pandemic bringing massive changes to the way we work, socialise and look after ourselves, it’s been a challenging nine months.

Redwings has had to change the way we do things, from closing our visitor centres to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, to many members of our admin staff working from home, moving meetings online and communicating through emails and phones, rather than face-to-face. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our dedication to equine welfare in the UK.

A lot of the time our welfare work flies under the radar. We take great pride in rescuing horses alongside other charities - the stories that you often see in newspapers or online - but the majority of the work we do to help horses goes on behind the scenes.  

Because of this, people often become frustrated that there’s no obvious, immediate resolution. Frustration can then become anger, which is often directed at those of us who work on the frontline of equine welfare.

The staff members who work our welfare line provide advice on many situations and will help whenever we can. However, we can’t always give people the answers they want to hear, but we will always do our best to explain why and answer any questions you might have.

Sadly, we have had instances where staff have been verbally abused. We appreciate that it can be distressing to see an animal which is potentially suffering, which can spark powerful emotions, and we’re here because we love horses and want to help. But our knowledge of equine welfare laws and procedures gives us a different perspective, which helps us to determine the best course of action in terms of welfare and the law.

When reporting a horse, pony or donkey you’re concerned about, please remember that the person on the other end of the phone is a person too. If you’re frustrated about an outcome, we’re more than happy to talk through the reasons why we take the actions we do. We love talking to our callers and supporters, and even in circumstances where we can’t help, we’re grateful for the people taking the time to report their concerns.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas from all of us in the Redwings Welfare team.

Click here to find out more about how to report a welfare concern and the information we need in order to help.