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Gaskells get fun and funky for Socktober

MERSEYSIDE waste management company Gaskells Waste Services is supporting homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre by donning some fab and funky socks to take part in the charity's Socktober Campaign.

The Socktober campaign encourages individuals, businesses and Schools to wear some funky and fabulous socks on a day in October and make a donation to the charity. The Whitechapel Centre gives out over 7,000 pairs of socks each year to those in need and it's an item that is rarely donated in new condition.

The Bootle based waste management company has worked in partnership with The Whitechapel Centre for several years, supporting them financially and also helping to raise awareness of the dangers of rough sleepers taking refuge in commercial bins. Gaskells' main truck on the Liverpool route is branded with The Whitechapel Centre's logo and phone number and all their commercial bins have stickers warning of the dangers of sleeping in bins, along with the contact details for The Whitechapel Centre.

Gaskells also actively fundraises for The Whitechapel Centre in some pretty weird and wacky ways! In the past they've hosted a pie-off, as well as a bin truck pull; so Socktober is right up their street and it allows all the staff to get involved.

Julianna Petkovic, fundraiser for The Whitechapel Centre said:- "The Whitechapel Centre is delighted that Gaskells are taking part in our Socktober campaign! The Whitechapel Centre and Gaskells have a fantastic partnership and we have been working closely together to raise awareness and fundraise for the last few years. Teams from Gaskells have consistently taken part in lots of our events, that unfortunately due to Covid19can't run as normal this year. So it's great they are on board to have a socktastic time."

Claire Hannah from Gaskells Marketing team said:-
"Homelessness is an issue which is very close to our hearts as our drivers see people sleeping on the streets every single day. We've been working with The Whitechapel Centre for the past few years as we've seen 1st hand the work they do for homeless people across Liverpool, which is invaluable. The whole team at Gaskells really enjoys taking part in their events, so Socktober is brilliant, because all our staff can get involved, whether it's our drivers who are out and about, our teams in the office, or even colleagues who will be having virtual meetings too! We're all really looking forward to it and would urge as many businesses as possible to sign up and raise money for such a worthwhile cause."

RSPCA deal with 31 horse incidents in Merseyside during lockdown

AS the micro chipping of horses becomes compulsory in England this month, the RSPCA fears it will not be enough to prevent an impending horse welfare catastrophe; as the charity reveals that it dealt with 31 incidents involving horses in Merseyside during the Covid crisis.

As the charity launches its month long re-homing drive, Adoptober, it reveals that nationally the number of horses in its care is already 3 times what it was at the start of the last recession in 2009, and said it is braced for huge numbers of abandoned and neglected horses as the country plunges into an even deeper financial downturn.

During the lockdown period of 23 March to 8 September alone, the RSPCA dealt with 4,479 incidents involving horses; including 31 within Merseyside.

Although the RSPCA welcomes the change in the law to make micro chipping of all equines mandatory irrespective of age, as it is for dogs, it warns the move is not enough alone to tackle irresponsible breeders and owners at the heart of the equine crisis, which has now raged for 8 years.

At the same time, many animal welfare organisations have seen donations plummet during the pandemic, and there is already huge pressure on resources. Animal welfare charities received no specific financial help during lockdown and the RSPCA is calling on the Government to give financial support to the sector for its vital work during one of toughest years in RSPCA history.

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA said:- "Equine charities fear that autumn will create the perfect storm as grazing decreases, the end of furlough and the deepening recession will see more owners struggling with costs of care leading to neglect and abandonment, yet people have been continuing to breed horses despite Covid. Alongside this, equine rescues, already reporting a sharp drop in funds, may start to go under as the financial situation bites, which will increase the burden on the RSPCA. We are calling on the Government to step in with financial support as they have for other charities affected by the pandemic and recognise that the vital services provided by the animal welfare sector are under huge strain."

New legislation demanding compulsory micro chipping of all horses irrespective of age is set to come into effect in England this month; currently around 70% of the horses we rescue are not micro chipped.

Chris said:- "When it came in for dogs, the number of strays reduced by 20% in four years, but unfortunately we just don't think that's going to happen for horses. Without rigorous enforcement and tough financial penalties, there is little to stop irresponsible horse owners continuing to breed and dump their animals. Local authorities, who are in charge of enforcement of equine identification regulations, are already operating with extremely limited resources and are facing the huge challenges of Covid, the recession and Brexit. The RSPCA and other equine welfare organisations have been struggling to pick up the pieces of the horse crisis since the last recession and as we enter what could be the biggest financial downturn of a generation, the sector is already bursting at the seams and facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic."

The charity's equine staff are appealing to experienced horse owners across England and Wales to consider re-homing a rescue horse if they possibly can. This month as the charity's re-homing campaign Adoptober launches, staff are keen to showcase the versatility and capability of the horses they rescue, whether they are ridden horses, companion animals or youngsters with heaps of potential.

Throughout the month of October, the RSPCA is shining a light on animals in its care which need a new home and promoting the benefits of adopting a rescue animal through its Adoptober campaign. The RSPCA is the UK's biggest re-homer, finding:- 39,178 homes for pets in 2019; that's 107 a day, or 4 an hour.

Under the current Covid re-homing protocols anyone interested in fostering or adopting an animal from the RSPCA should visit the website to see which animals are available near you and should check with their local centre for the current process applicable in that area.

Due to the amount of interest we are receiving and the impact of Covid on our staffing levels, please bear with us as our centres are very busy at this time. To find out more please visit:- RSPCA.Org.UK/Coronavirus.

Did you know that the new micro chipping law comes into effect on 1 October 2020, within England, and from 12 February 2021, in Wales?

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