Your questions answered by Chief Executive.
What is theGreyhound Trust?
The Retired Greyhound Trust (RGT) is a national charity, founded in 1976 and we are dedicated to finding loving homes for greyhounds when their racing days are over.
The RGT is registered with the Charity Commission (registered number 269668).
The Trust operates a network of over 70 branches across Britain, run by volunteers. Most branches have kennels with retired greyhounds that the public can meet and that are available for rehoming. A full list of our branches and contact names can be found on this website.
What are the charity's objectives?
The Retired Greyhound Trust's primary objective is to help find homes for retired racing greyhounds. The charity strives for the day when no ex-racing greyhound is without a good home.
We promote the rehoming of retired greyhounds through publicity and by working with those involved in greyhound racing to raise the profile of greyhounds retiring from racing. We also liaise with other canine welfare and charitable organisations seeking to find good homes for greyhounds.
How many greyhounds has the charity rehomed?
Each year approximately 9,000 greyhounds retire from racing. In 2002, the Trust found 2,030 homes for greyhounds. This figure has increased progressively and the Trust now finds over 4,000 homes for greyhounds a year (4,247 in 2010).
In 2010 the Trust was proud to rehome its 50,000th greyhound.
How does the Trust promote greyhounds as pets?
We currently spend around £100,000 on advertising each year. Advertising is designed to raise awareness of retired greyhounds as pets, to direct potential new owners to their local branch through local paper classified advertising and to raise funds through donations and legacies.
In addition we use the web and most of our branches have web sites that can be readily accessed from our main site (http://www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk/). We also use of a range of social media including Facebook and Twitter.
Every year RGT is represented at over 500 shows throughout the country, ranging from major events such as Crufts and Discover Dogs to county shows, game fairs and 'meet and greet' sessions in town squares, shopping malls and supermarket car parks. We have two major annual events for retired greyhounds: the Great Greyhound Gathering at Nottingham Racecourse each September and the Greyhound Extravaganza at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket in June. Full information is given on the web site.
Twice a year the Trust publishes a Newsletter called 'Homer' that is sent to over 50,000 supporters. It provides news and information about the charity and the work of its branches and volunteers, helps to raise awareness of our work and is an important fundraising stimulus.
Who runs the Greyhound Trust?
The RGT is governed by a Board of eight Trustees, chaired by Dr Andrew Higgins MRCVS.
The other Trustees are: Mr Joe Akerman (Accountant), Mrs Frances Allen MRCVS (Veterinary Surgeon), Mr Roger Cearns (Owner of Sittingbourne Greyhound Stadium), Mr John Haynes (Director of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain), Mr John Simpson (Professional Greyhound Trainer), Mr Maurice Watkins CBE (Chairman of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain), Mr Andrew Rosindell (MP for Romford).
The RGT Vice-President is Mr Arthur Hammond (Honorary President of the Federation of British Greyhound Owners' Association).
The Trust's Chief Executive is Peter Laurie who was appointed in July 2011. He is based at the Trust's head office in Worcester Park, Surrey, along with a team of four full time and two part-time staff.
A Finance Committee reports to the Board of Trustees. It is chaired by Mr Joe Akerman and the other members include Dr Andrew Higgins, Mr Peter Laurie and the Trust's Finance Executive, Mrs Jenny Greenshields. In 2009 the payroll costs amounted to less than 6% of the Trust's expenditure. The charity works hard to maintain low overhead costs
How many volunteers are involved with the charity?
We currently have over 1,000 volunteers nationwide. A volunteer is a supporter who gives their time (or services) for free to the charity. Volunteers are not paid but out of pocket expenses (e.g. petrol, fares, telephone etc.) are reimbursed if the volunteer wishes to claim them.
Where does the Trust's funding come from?
Our funding comes through the generosity of the general public and from the greyhound industry, including via a grant from the British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF).
In recent years, the public's contribution has significantly increased and the Trust is actively working to expand its programme of fundraising initiatives and diversify its income streams. This work includes seeking corporate sponsorship and encouraging supporters to remember the RGT in their wills. The RGT is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board and complies with the Codes of Practice published by the Institute of Fundraising.
In 2010, Trust's income totalled £3.9m of which £1.56m (40%) came from the BGRF, £1.27m (33%) from donations and gifts and £1.06m (27%) from branches. The Trust also received a contribution of £16,258 from our merchandising company, Retired Greyhound Events Ltd (see Q9, below).
How does the Trust use its funding?
The RGT submits annual accounts to the Charity Commission and these can be viewed online at www.charity-commission.gov.uk. A copy of the annual accounts is available on request from the RGT (phone 020 8335 3016).
The Trust recently published its first Annual Review for the year ended 31st December 2010 and which can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page. The Review includes a statement of the Trust's financial activities. In 2010, the Trust's major areas of expenditure were: £1,478,463 on kennel charges, £1,190,932 on branch expenditure, £604,658 on veterinary fees, £438,687 on education and awareness, £116,585 on homefinding expenses, £91,162 generating funds. Please remember this is for rehoming over 4,000 greyhounds.
What is the Trust's relationship with the sport of greyhound racing?
The RGT is an independent charity but we have a generally positive, constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with the sport. The British Greyhound Racing Fund contributes significant sums to the Trust each year from the voluntary levy it collects from bookmakers. Tracks are important venues for fundraising and awareness events and a number of our branches are run by licensed trainers. The RGT is one of two charities with a seat on the Greyhound Board of Great Britain's (GBGB) Welfare Standing Committee, helping to shape the sport's welfare policy.
What is Retired Greyhound Events Ltd?
Retired Greyhound Events Ltd is a VAT registered, limited company (number 3825899). It is the trading arm of the RGT and is a wholly owned subsidiary. It is a requirement of the Charity Commission that trading is a separate entity. Retired Greyhound Events Ltd has two directors: Joe Akerman and John Haynes, both trustees of RGT.
The trading company currently has three main objectives: to source, purchase and provide basic greyhound equipment to a new owner (collars, leads, coats etc); to promote the RGT by selling a range of merchandise including Christmas cards, calendars and soft toys for the younger greyhound enthusiast; and to provide items of merchandise for branches to re-sell at greyhound stadia and at shows attended by the branches.
All profits generated by Retired Greyhound Events Ltd are donated to the Retired Greyhound Trust.
How can I find out more about the Retired Greyhound Trust?
If you cannot find the answer to your question on our website, please don't hesitate to contact me:
2nd Floor, Park House
1-4 Park Terrace
Surrey KT4 7JZ