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Nativity Festival - Come and See!

A week long Nativity Festival is unveiling its grand opening, in Southport, on Saturday, 7 December 2019, at 2pm, featuring Christmas carols and other activities. Many Churches and associated groups have created nativity scenes made out of different materials; like:- Lego, wool, paper to more traditional scenes. The story of Christmas, from the Angel Gabriel's visit to Mary, to the family's escape to Egypt, is told in a series of scenes created by various groups including:- Local Schools, Beavers, Cubs, Rainbows and Brownies.

Along with a stable where people can put themselves into the scene, there's also craft time for children, who can create their own angels, animals or other characters, which will be built up during the week. It's hosted at St George's United Reformed Church on Lord Street (next to Sainsbury) and is open 9 December to 14 December 2019, 1pm to 5pm. Thursday, until 7pm.  It is free and refreshments will be available. The scenes have been contributed by organisations within Southport and Formby churches. Revd Janet Calderley, lead minister for the URC churches in Southport and Formby, said:- "We hope people in Southport come and see these amazing nativity scenes, and have a moment, in the run up to Christmas, to consider what the season is really all about."

Little Ruby found herself a home after 8 years

BACK in 2011 a gorgeous little Jack Russell Terrier puppy called Ruby found herself in the care of Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre.  The Rescue Centre told us that they had all fallen in love with her right away and had confident that she would find a home quite soon.  Sadly, as this would not be the case and they couldn't have been more wrong… Ruby was adopted, but unfortunately came back to us a year later, in 2012, as she was displaying quite extensive behavioural issues. Ruby's needs were some of the most complex the charity had ever encountered, but they never gave up on her.

Dawn Hurst, Operations Manager, said:- "Ruby just didn't seem to process things in the way other dogs did. She would appear to be friendly and welcome a fuss, but would then bite ferociously in defence! She couldn't bear anyone touching her if she wasn't up to it, which made visits to the vet a real trauma for her. Ruby was certainly a feisty girl, and 1 we grew to love here at Freshfields. Over the years a small group of volunteers learnt to understand Ruby and her behaviour. She shared special walks and adventures with them, and we got to see the sweet girl that she could be. Deep down, we knew her prospects of re-homing were slim. We could not quite believe our luck when a lady called Ursula Fitzpatrick contacted us in June to express an interest in Ruby! Ursula is a keen Terrier owner, and after recently losing her rescue Jack Russell Terrier (who had similar issues to Ruby) she was now ready for her next challenge! Ursula began travelling over an hour to meet Ruby 3 times a week, and was not deterred when Ruby did not greet her enthusiastically in the beginning. It took several months and lots of consistent and gradual 'getting to know you' sessions until we began to see a bond blossom between the 2. Our incredible staff, along with volunteers Breda and Vikki, were so determined to help Ruby find the home of her dreams. They took Ruby to Ursula's home for day visits so that she could familiarise herself with the new environment. After spending most of her life in a rescue centre we didn't know how Ruby would respond. We were amazed and delighted when Ruby trotted into Ursula's home and ran around exploring as though she had always been there! Ruby finally went to her new forever home in Shropshire on 1 November 2019. The connection between Ursula and Ruby is incredibly moving and wonderful to see, and makes every minute of this long process worthwhile. We know that Ruby and Ursula will continue to face challenges, and we will be there to support them every step of the way. We are so thankful to Ursula for her sheer determination and commitment and for giving a dog like Ruby a second chance."


Ursula said:- "Ruby is a difficult dog with significant behavioural issues. I would say to any adopter that you need to be very realistic in taking on a dog like Ruby. She will never be most people's 'ideal dog.' I've been seeing Ruby several times a week for 4 months. The Kennel staff and volunteers have been fantastic in introducing Ruby to me. I've worked closely with them and taken their advice. I find it very rewarding to work with problematic dogs and Ruby suits me. Even very small improvements give me tremendous pleasure and it's a real joy to re-home a dog that's been in Kennels for so long."

Debbie Hughes, PR and Communications for Freshfields, said:- "Ruby is another example of why we never give up on any dog here at Freshfields. We have no doubt that Ruby would have been put to sleep should she have found herself anywhere else but at Freshfields. Every life matters to us, and we make a promise to be there for all of our animals for all of their lives. We are proud of our values, which we try to live by every day. Thanks to our dedicated and compassionate supporters in our community, we can be there for them, and strive to find that special someone for all of our dogs. As Ruby's story shows; you should never stop trying! It might take 8 years, it might take a day, but here at Freshfields we'll find a way!"

Freshfields Animal Rescue added:- "We want to say a big thank you to everyone who makes our work possible. You can find out more about the many dogs still waiting to make their miracle happen at our website or call us on:- 0151 931 1604."

Please remember Animals are not just pets for Christmas, but are life long companions, with all the love and problems that are associated with any family member.

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