Battersea super-volunteer honoured to attend The Patron’s Lunch

This Sunday (12 June), a dedicated Battersea Dogs & Cats Home volunteer who has transformed the lives of many anxious and abused dogs will join thousands of charity supporters on The Mall in London for a huge street party to mark The Queen’s birthday. Chris McLean, from Surbiton, will attend The Patron’s Lunch, a celebration of The Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organisations – including Battersea.

Chris began volunteering at Battersea as a foster carer in 2010, wanting to offer anxious and abandoned dogs a better start in finding their forever home, after rehoming a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Willow from Battersea. Since then, her dedication to the Home has grown year-on-year and her volunteering activities now include spreading responsible ownership messages in London’s hard to reach communities, fundraising, campaigning for dog welfare, visiting potential new rescue dog owners and bringing her own Battersea dogs to fly the flag for Battersea at every event and open day she can. This is all alongside Chris’ job as a community matron for the long-term ill.

Chris, regarded by staff and fellow volunteers as one of Battersea’s most respected and trusted volunteers, was selected to attend the lunch in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Home. With The Patron’s Lunch falling on the final day of National Volunteers’ Week (1–12 June), Battersea’s Head of Volunteering Charlotte Fielder explains why Chris stands out among Battersea’s 1,200 active volunteers: “The patience, compassion and joy Chris displays in any task given is truly inspirational. She is a trusted representative of the Home and takes on dogs when no one else can to change their lives. It’s Chris we immediately think of whenever we have a vulnerable or traumatised dog in need of additional care and nurturing – she really is a life saver for these dogs. We hope she always knows how grateful we are of her dedication to Battersea.” Chris commented “I can honestly say I feel excited, honoured and ever so slightly nervous”.

Others representing Battersea at The Patron’s Lunch include Claire Horton, Veterinary Director Shaun Opperman, and Acting Volunteer Manager Mike Puddy. Chris, Claire, Shaun and Mike are all available for media opportunities.

The celebrations on the day will include a 1,500-strong parade, in which around 20 Battersea volunteers and staff members are taking part. Members of the public can watch the entertainment parade and the day’s Royal proceedings either live on BBC One or via live screenings in nearby St James’s Park or Green Park.

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For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9332 or email press@battersea.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.
  • HM The Queen visited Battersea Old Windsor in April 1986 to open the Bell Mead Kennels.
  • The Queen first visited Battersea London in February 1991, and visited for a second time on Tuesday 17 March 2015, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, to open the new state-of-the art Mary Tealby kennels. Chris McLean is pictured meeting HM The Queen in 2015.
  • Mary Tealby was a pioneer of animal welfare and rescue when she set up Battersea, then called Temporary Home for Lost & Starving Dogs, in 1860.
  • The Royal Family has been closely connected with Battersea for well over a century:
    • The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, became the first Royal guest when he visited the Home in 1879 and five years later his youngest brother, the Duke of Albany, was the first member of the Royal Family to rehome a Battersea dog, a Fox Terrier.
    • Queen Victoria was also a Royal Patron of the Home. On 16 December 1885, HM The Queen sent £10 to the Home, and promised a yearly subscription to that amount. Shortly afterwards she was invited to become the first Royal Patron of a dogs’ home, and eagerly accepted.
    • In addition to HM The Queen serving as our patron for 60 years, HRH Prince Michael of Kent is Battersea’s President.
    • Prince Michael himself is the proud owner of a Battersea dog, a handsome black Labrador named Shadow. And HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has rehomed two dogs from Battersea – Jack Russell Terriers Bluebell and Beth.
  • Battersea cared for over 8000 (8,421) animals including nearly 5000 (4,868) dogs and over 3000 (3,553) cats in 2015.
  • On average 13 dogs and 9 cats arrive at our three centres every day.
  • Battersea cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres at any one time.
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 30 days and 22 days for a cat.
  • We have over 1200 volunteers. In 2015 volunteers dedicated over 73,000 hours to Battersea.
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no central government funding towards the care of its dogs and cats and relies on the generosity and support of the public to help care for lost and abandoned dogs & cats.