Val Green, a civil servant from Nottinghamshire, has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to charity, particularly during Covid-19.
When the first lockdown struck Val saw her local animal rescue’s pleas on social media – the small organisations had lost their volunteers and their fundraising ability overnight. With no income to pay for food and vets bills, things were getting desperate very quickly.
Val wanted to help, and thought all those little voices calling out for help would be better as one voice. She gathered a small team of volunteers and the group launched One Voice for Animals UK on 24th April 2020.
The group set up www.helpanimals.co.uk, a directory that has quickly grown to encompass over 300 animal organisations across the UK, caring for approx 22,000 animals between them.
The website’s aim is to enable the public to easily find and support rescues near them, be that a financial donation, items such as newspapers to line cages, or help running social media pages.
Along with twice-yearly fundraising auctions, the group has set up donation pages which have collectively raised over £65,000.
Val’s dedication to the cause led to her partially retiring from her job at HMRC this year, so she had more time to focus on new initiatives for the group.
Val said: “I am so moved and overwhelmed by this award. Though it isn’t due just to my efforts, it’s the hard work that the volunteer team puts in, the efforts of the people running the rescues themselves who are often one-man bands, and the generous donations of lots for our auctions.
“It’s about all the people who care about animals, and I’d like to recognise that and thank them.”
Val and the One Voice for Animals UK team are currently preparing for the next auction which runs on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/OneVoiceAuction) from 27 June – 3 July.