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In 1996 having decided our next dog would be a rescue and a Collie it seemed sensible to contact BCTGB who were only a few miles away. And so Taffy came into our lives. At the time the BCTGB centre was a dream for those involved and 12 months after taking on Taffy I read that the Trust had purchased its own kennels and needed blankets etc. I arrived with a car load of stuff and after a long chat left with a volunteer application form. I spent many a happy hour walking dogs and helping out at various events including Crufts and then in April 2000 was asked if I would be willing to become a Trustee. As Ken said, this is a honour not to be taken lightly but I was more than happy to accept. In 1999 my wife Sue and I took on Sheba, another rescue collie who came to the Trust in a very agrophobic and scared state - but that's another long story!! Suffice to say she came out of her shell and was a bundle of fun until unfortuntely we lost her after a short illness in 2008. After becoming a Trustee I took on dealing with all email communication for the Trust, and became the webmaster for this site. It has been a privilege to work with all the Trustees, who give so freely of their time and effort and also the staff at our kennels who provide such a high quality of care for all the dogs who unfortunately come into our centre. A Trustees role does involve a commitment but the sense of satisfaction at seeing our achievements is second to none.

In 2002 I retired from the Police service and began doing just a few hours in the office. In 2004 Sue and I moved into the house at the centre. Since then my involvement has grown and grown at the centre, becoming an "expert" in HR, H&S, VAT, Ride on Mowers and even septic tanks! - all this from adopting a collie

In 2015 I was honoured to not only be a nominated and selected as a finalist in The PetPlan and ADCH Animal Charity Volunteer Of The Year but to be announced as the winner at the ADCH Conference in Bournemouth. A great honour for myself and the Trust.

In November 2008 we sadly lost Sheba and Taffy also left us in April 2009.

It didn't take long to adopt a new companion and Reilly (or Sir Reilly as he's known at the centre) joined us in April 2009

Ben Wilkes


Taffy 1995 - 2009

Sheba 1996 - 2008

Reilly

Hello All

Back in 1977 having a young family & wife, a friend of the family breeding from her bitch, offered us a puppy. I said NO WAY! But under family pressure I gave in and Bill became a member of our family. He was the first of our four border collies to date. Me now being the biggest fan. In the late 1980`s following a chance meeting with Jenny Booth I found out about Border Collie rehoming. It also started my wife and myself helping raising funds for the dogs.

After the sad loss of Bill in 1990 we lasted 7 days without a dog, turning to the Trust for our next dog Winston 6 months old and never been out of a veranda. With love and patience he turned into a devoted dog who was always at my side. At the same time my wife fell in love with a border terrier Buffy who lived through half of Bills time with us and even outlived Winston. When we lost Winston in 2003 we thought it would not be fair to bring another dog into the home as Buffy by now was both blind and deaf, sadly she only lived a further 6 months after her soul mate died. Once again we turned to the Trust for another dog.

By now with the family grown up we decided to have a puppy, Smokie joined us from a litter which had come from another rescue. What a shock to the system, you forget over time how demanding a puppy can be. This however did not put us off and one year later we had another puppy Echo, unknown to us at the time the noisiest pup of the litter. As Ben Wilkes later said - the clue was in her name. A few months later we rehomed a border terrier called Tiggy. We all get on very well together most of the time, enjoying seaside holidays and camping together. If you see me about come and talk to me. I love nothing more than talking about dogs!!

I cannot remember a time when one or two dogs were not part of my family.  From Heinz 57 to pedigree breeds and of course rescue dogs.  Living in South London, the dogs always gave me a valid reason to escape to more rural areas.  I love walking - and dogs are such good company.

Back in early 2003, I was introduced by a colleague to the Border Collie Trust GB when I was looking for a worthy successor to Buster our Rough Collie who had just died.  My wife and I drove up to The Rescue Centre in Rugeley and fell in love with Ozzie, our first border collie who was around six months old.  He was perfect for us, great fun and could not have been better company.  Following his sad death, we returned to Rugeley earlier this year and now have a completely different border collie – Benny.  Although he had a few issues he is now a well-established part of the “Huggett” family. 

Just after my retirement I noticed in the Border Collie magazine that there could be a vacancy for a Trustee and I immediately spoke with Ben Wilkes to offer my services.  Luckily for me the Board decided to accept me as a Trustee in May this year.