When we were in the midst of lockdown, we knew this moment would come. The team talked about it a lot, how the world would open back up and we would once again be busily entrenched in field work. As much as we all discussed it, none of us were quite prepared for the reality of just how hectic our schedules would become, and that has been the essence of 2022 for us all.
Within the month of November alone, we had four members of our team out in six different countries conducting field work. The challenges of trying to communicate with each other across a vast breadth of time zones, planning for the unexpected, and trying to achieve our strategic aims had us all completely exhausted, but every one of us was delighted to be back out there, making the most tangible of impacts to animal welfare.
Being back out in the field was a significant reminder of why we do what we do, and how crucial our work is in driving forward animal welfare improvements. Auditing facilities which needed our assistance, training animal care staff who hadn’t had accessible information before, and meeting animals who would directly benefit from our work were all reasons to plough ahead. As always, the people make these experiences for us as much as the animals. With our collaborative approach, our professional relationships often turn into friendships and we have loved forming fresh alliances in new countries (as well as the familiar ones) over the past year.
The whole of 2022 has also been full of celebrations for us as we have commemorated our ten year anniversary. Achieving double digit status has been very special for the entire time, particularly our founders, some of which doubted whether we would make it from month to month back in the early days.
From our humble beginnings, we have carved a niche for ourselves, being recognised as a hub of expertise and knowledge on all things animal welfare, and we are determined to continue that into the next ten years and beyond. During the yearlong celebration, it was wonderful to reflect on the global support we have seen over our first decade of operation, with people coming together to celebrate our achievements alongside us.
Of course, getting our supporters involved in the celebrations was something we wanted to achieve and we did that though our Walk Around The World For Animal Welfare Fundraising Challenge. It seemed like an ambitious task to clock up so many miles but our enthusiastic teams managed to collectively walk a virtual distance of 4,231 miles, raising over £2k in the process. That was the equivalent of walking from the UK to Asia, stopping at some of our milestone countries along the way.
As this incredibly busy and gratifying year comes to a close, the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to our reach and impact. With people in over 63 countries utilising our digital animal welfare resources and 25 different presentations given at workshops, conferences and webinars hosted by us over the past year, we have been able to speak directly to those in all sorts of animal protection and care roles. And of course, the partnerships which we formulate through our continued dialogues have ensured that even more animals can experience a life where they are able to thrive.
Our influence is big but, as always, we want to take it further in the future. There are still animals who are suffering, facilities we haven’t visited, and people we have yet to meet. With our small but ambitious team, we are determined to continue advocating for better lives for animals and giving people the tools they need with which to create this outcome. It’s all about collaboration and we can’t wait to continue our pro-active approach to achieving this in 2023. If this year taught us anything, it’s been to celebrate the triumphs and make the most of each and every opportunity to create positive change.
For now, from the entire Wild Welfare team, we are wishing our supporters a fantastic festive season and a very happy new year.