The Kennel Club has donated the money it collects from the annual raffle at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival to two causes: Agility Against Cancer, a new cancer fundraising group, and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Each organisation received almost £300 after the agility community kindly reached into their pockets at the festival held at Rockingham Castle, Leicestershire from 11th-14th August.
Each year the Kennel Club donates the money from the raffle to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust (registered charity no. 327802), which provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities. This year the money was split with Agility Against Cancer after the group received overwhelming support from the agility community when it was set up last month.
The new fundraising group, which was created by Lotta Bowers from Stoke-on-Trent, raises money to support those in the agility world who have cancer. The group helps those dealing with the disease by walking their dogs and raises money to cover treatment costs. The group has currently raised £30,000 for agility competitor Yvonne Goode, who couldn’t get treatment from the NHS and is seeking expensive treatment in Germany.
Lotta, who has been competing in agility for sixteen years, said she was inspired to create the group after seeing the support that was given by the agility community after top competitor Tracey Flower died of cancer. She soon realised that a group which could coordinate all fundraising activities to ensure that they could help as many people as possible was sorely needed, which was when she came up with the idea of Agility Against Cancer.
She started off selling t-shirts to raise funds for Yvonne Goode and was astounded by the amount of money she was receiving and how the agility community were coming together to fundraise to support the cause. Lotta soon realised that she could help more people after she received an anonymous donation of £10,000, which was the deciding factor to start submitting the paperwork to gain official charity status for the group.
Lotta Bowers said: “To be recognised by the Kennel Club is a fantastic feeling and we’d like to thank them for their kind contribution to our cause. Our aim is to become an official agility charity so the agility community can come to us for help when going through cancer, whether that’s for fundraising, support or even dog walking and boarding as many people find it difficult to keep their dogs during such a difficult time.
“The response from the agility community so far has been amazing and I couldn’t have done this without them. I’m just a normal person so the fact that everyone is supporting and believing in me to set something like this up is so overwhelming. There is always going to be someone in need and, by gaining official status we hope to continue the good work and help even more people.”
For more information on Agility Against Cancer, please visit www.agilityagainstcancer.co.nf and for further information about the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, please visit https://kccharitabletrust.org.uk/.