Petplan Charitable Trust was formed by Patsy Bloom and David Simpson in 1994 so that through the company, which they originally founded in 1976, they could give something back to the advancement of veterinary medicine and animal welfare. Petplan clients were invited to give a small annual donation on top of their premium towards the Trust . The response was tremendous, and continues to be so.
This support has enabled the Trust to make grants of over £8 million to date, helping hundreds of different welfare organisations in the UK, and overseas, as well as endowing buildings to 5 university veterinary schools and funding the advancement of veterinary understanding and treatment.
On the welfare side we have particularly supported rescue and rehoming, and neutering. It is sad that the problem of unwanted and stray animals is still something that we have deal with, and all the organisations working in the field, whether they be large national charities or smaller local groups sustained by literally thousands of volunteers, need financial help in the wonderful work they do.
Greyhound rescue for different reasons is also an area that we have long recognised as one needing support and our other focus has been in a variety of projects both large and small that underline the practical and supportive role that animals can bring to humans. We helped build a ménage for Ravenswood, a care village for children and adults with severe learning disabilities, as the proximity to horses has been found to be calming and therapeutic for their residents. Other projects have included support for Pets as Therapy; a community vet nurse who visits those unable to bring their animals into a Blue Cross centre for treatment; and various pet fostering schemes.
The Trust’s work in supporting veterinary advancement is through the funding of clinical research. That is to say we only support work that involves the study of companion animals already undergoing treatment. We will not fund anything that involves even the slightest invasive treatment. We are strict and unwavering about this.
We try to favour studies that will potentially help vets in practice to treat and care for your animals better. Some of the areas we have concentrated on are arthritis in dogs, hypertension and kidney problems in cats, colic in horses and the all-important work in combating cancer particularly in cats and dogs.
Alongside this we have also supported the veterinary schools with a number of capital grants to help with rebuilding and modernising their facilities. These have included support for a new wing to the Queen Mother Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College, London; the cancer unit at Cambridge University; the new small animal hospitals at Liverpool and Glasgow Veterinary Schools and the equine hospital at Edinburgh Veterinary School.
To read about some of the organisations we support, please click here.