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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