I put a packet of doggie treats for our four-legged friends at the Berkshire National Animal Welfare Trust. I felt that animal charities have been a little overlooked in my lil challenge and actually ended up buying three packets as they were on three for two - a Christmas present for the dogs in our family!
Unfortunately I forgot all about them and left them in the shopping bag, so MrM naturally assumed my cravings had taken a turn for the weird. One of the NAWT's properties was in my patch in my previous job, so I used to deal them with a lot, although they definitely preferred my predecessor who spent a large proportion of his time down there being a mad lover of horses!
National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) was founded in 1971 as an independent charity, and was originally known as Animal Welfare Trust (the word national was added in 1996 as part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations).
The roots of the organisation can be traced back to 1958, when the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) established BUVA Dog Rescue. The initiative to establish BUAV Dog Rescue was to stop dogs and puppies being bought at markets as a way of preventing them going to laboratories for vivisection. In 1965 the name was changed to BUAV Animal Aid, in recognition that all sorts of animals were being saved from vivisection.
In 1971 BUAV members felt that the work of BUAV Animal Aid was departing from its aims, and it was agreed to establish a separate charity to be known as Animal Welfare Trust (AWT). AWT remained under the auspices of BUAV, along with the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, until 1979, when both organisations started to work from the Hendon & Aldenham Boarding Kennels - run by our then Chairman Mr Sidney Hicks - sharing facilities and staff. The Dr Hadwen Trust is now completely separate from NAWT, although both organisations remain close, share members and work together as appropriate.
NAWT acquired its second centre, Heaven's Gate Farm in Somerset in the early 1990s, and purchased our third centre - Trindledown Farm in Berkshire - in the late 1990s. Trindledown was purchased to enable us to develop the first purpose built animal retirement home in the country, and was finally opened and fully operational in 2002.