My Week: Clare Williams

The operations director at the National Animal Welfare Trust recounts her week

Clare Williams
Clare Williams

MONDAY - I decide to postpone the open day at our Cornwall centre because of an outbreak of kennel cough. It's a highly contagious disease for dogs, so we can't risk members of the public bringing their dogs on site. It's very unfortunate because open days are such important events for fundraising and increasing awareness of the charity. We try to turn the situation into a positive by issuing a press release to generate some local publicity and, I hope, gain some donations.

TUESDAY - I'm off to our centre in Berkshire to conduct internal job interviews. I love the tranquil environment at Trindledown Farm. The animals are mainly elderly and the dogs live in big kennels with central heating, TVs and sofas. It is interesting and sometimes frustrating that, although I work for an animal charity, the largest part of my role is dealing with staffing matters. But I do find time to meet the new horse, which arrived a few days ago.

WEDNESDAY - I head east to meet staff at a smaller charity, Clacton Animal Aid, which is about to be transferred to the NAWT. It feels a bit like a first date - will it go OK and will we like each other? I introduce the NAWT, discuss the implications of the transfer and answer any questions they have. It seems to go well and staff seem reassured because we have no intention of changing the existing arrangements. NAWT has grown by taking over organisations where the owners and driving forces are no longer able to continue their work. This is an exciting opportunity for us.

FRIDAY - After a day at home catching up on admin, I'm in my office at the Watford centre. It is our 40th anniversary this year, so we have started a scheme to recognise long-serving volunteers at each centre. The presentations we have done so far have been moving because volunteers, who tend to stay out of the limelight, are incredibly touched by the gesture. My job is to say a few words about each person - so I'd better get on with writing that. The National Animal Welfare Trust is one of the UK's largest animal rescue charities.

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