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Housebuilder’s help for animal rehoming charity

Domestic animals under the care of a charitable organisation have received a boost thanks to a housebuilder in Hampshire.

St Francis Animal Welfare, based in Eastleigh, have been caring for animals since 1953 and aim to rehabilitate and rehome domestic pets to families in Hampshire, from their Mortimers Lane based shelter.

The charity, run by a small team of staff and a number of dedicated volunteers, have been gifted £1,000 by Basingstoke-based Miller Homes Southern, through the housebuilder’s annual Community Fund.

St Francis were one of 177 groups to apply for funding via Miller Homes’ Community Fund, which was created by the developer to help support community groups as part of their ‘A Better Place’ initiative.

Miller Homes has an annual budget of £10,000 within its Southern region to distribute among the applicants who are deemed the most deserving during each round of funding. The application process is open all-year-round via the Miller Homes website, but selected recipients are only granted funding twice a year.

St Francis Animal Welfare Manager, Katie O’Brien said: “We are thrilled to receive this donation from Miller Homes Southern, which will help go towards the many building and refurbishment jobs that we are struggling to afford and that require urgent attention on the premises.

“We are very grateful to Miller Homes recognising our animal work, particularly at a time when we are celebrating our 70th Anniversary and raising enough funds to keep the charity operating is becoming more and more challenging.”

Volunteer Yvonne Colville, who made the application to Miller Homes’ Community Fund, commented that she was ‘overjoyed for St Francis to receive this donation, precious funding indeed to help make us ‘A Better Place’.

Miller Homes is currently building a development of 323 new homes at Boorley Gardens, off Winchester Road in Boorley Green, just three miles from St Francis’ shelter in Fair Oak, Eastleigh. The housebuilder is providing 125 affordable properties as part of its new development.

Katrina Crawford, sales and marketing director of Miller Homes Southern, said: “It is with delight that we are committing £1,000 to support St Francis Animal Welfare, as a volunteer-led charity who provide phenomenal work to care for and ultimately find homes for beloved family pets.

“We received an unprecedented number of applications in the first round of the 2023 Community Fund, with almost 200 charities and groups requesting financial support from Miller Homes, which demonstrates how the cost of living crisis has impacted local charities.

“For this reason, we were keen to ensure we distributed our funding as fairly as possible across the Southern region. But we were particularly drawn to St Francis’ story and their cause and hope the team there, and the animals in their care, will benefit greatly from this donation.”

St Francis Animal Welfare receives no government support and operates purely through fundraising and donations.

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Image File:

(from left to right) Katie O'Brien, Sanctuary Manager at St Francis Animal Welfare and Miller Homes’ Kat Beasley, with Charlotte Rogers and Yvonne Colville of St Francis and three black cats currently being cared for by the charity in Eastleigh

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