Without our incredible staff, volunteers and supporters, Battersea would not be able to continue all the hard work we do to help dogs and cats.
Battersea supports its staff and volunteers in every way and this was reflected in our 2018 staff survey. There was an 89% positive response, 10% higher than the voluntary sector benchmark. Ongoing and new opportunities for development throughout the year also saw 22% more staff obtain internal career progression than in 2017, and our unplanned staff turnover reduce to 17%.
We are committed to developing our staff and volunteers to enable them to deliver Battersea’s strategic ambitions and progress their careers. In 2018 we identified staff learning needs and delivered bespoke solutions. We also further developed our management training, including developing coaching skills in managers to support an organisation-wide coaching culture. We continued to expand our expertise in animal welfare, delivering further specialist training to our animal teams.
Staff across all three sites had long been experiencing challenges in their daily duties as internet capacity started to struggle, so our IT team carried out extensive monitoring and analysis before selecting the necessary upgrades to implement. Now, all staff that rely on tech to monitor animals and chart their progress have stronger systems and more reliable data.
As a result of the launch of our new brand, staff were able to have input on the clothing and equipment they would prefer, in order to best perform their duties in comfort and to an even higher standard of professionalism and care. Our old branded uniforms were used by our ‘Made in Battersea’ craft group, who used them to create an incredible range of dog and cat toys.
Implementation of our Volunteering Strategy was completed in 2018. This three-year plan included a programme of initiative, which resulted in an impressive increase in volunteer retention. In 2018, the average length of stay for our volunteers rose to 41 months, and we were supported by 854 volunteers across Battersea.
Battersea was also honoured with an Investing in Volunteers (IiV) accreditation in February. The IiV is the UK quality standard for all organisations that involve volunteers in their work. In order to obtain this award, our Volunteering and Fostering team underwent a period of intense scrutiny, including 55 consultations and a full examination of all our relevant policies, procedures and ways of communicating.
We also celebrated our wonderful volunteers by hosting the second annual Volunteering and Fostering Conference, held at the stunning Royal Holloway College in June. Bringing together 85 Battersea volunteers and foster carers, a series of internal and external speakers gave talks to inspire and encourage our volunteers, and thank them for all their incredible support.
In 2018 Battersea raised £23.8m from generous individuals, companies and charitable trusts. Without this fantastic support none of our work would be possible. The monies raised and donated fund every aspect of an animal’s journey here – from arrival to medical care, behavioural training and finding a new home.
Battersea was hugely fortunate to benefit from the generous support of over 100,000 people who donated to us regularly, either by monthly direct debit or by playing our Paw Draw Lottery. Thousands have let us know they have remembered Battersea in their Will and more than 3,000 humans and many canines took on our brilliant Muddy Dog Challenge, baked cakes, knitted toys, shook buckets or ran marathons.
Whether your support comes from attending an event, sending a cheque, a direct debit, our raffle, making a grant or delivering a corporate partnership, we are hugely grateful. With every penny we can help more dogs and cats in need.
Our supporters are also generous with their time. Our Battersea Voices volunteers are invaluable, as they speak to communities about our work and how to support us. We couldn’t run our Events programme without an army of over 700 volunteers.
Our flagship fundraising gala ball can only be delivered with the fantastic support of our Collars & Coats Committee and Corporate Engagement Board. Our Development Board and Giving Circle members underpin our Philanthropy programme, leading the fundraising for our major projects.
We are enormously grateful to all our supporters who give their time and money so generously. Together we can improve the lives for the dogs and cats who urgently need our help.