Learn how Hope Rescue is using online technology to help improve the lives of stray and abandoned dogs in South Wales.
Using cloud technology, electronic payment systems, social media, and VoIP systems is essential to keep the charity shop and rescue centre connected so that they can reach more people to support the vital work they do.
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Hope Rescue was set up in 2005 to help stray and abandoned dogs in South Wales. We currently take all the stray dogs from three local authorities. We also take dogs from owners who are facing a crisis and can no longer keep their pets.
We bought our first rescue centre here in Llanharan this year (2017) and it’s got 51 rescue kennels, 20 boarding kennels, 18 acres of woodland, 2 paddocks and it is a fantastic location, really improving the welfare and opportunities for the dogs that come into our care.
We also have a charity shop in Pontypridd and that is a really important form of income for us, to help us run the rescue. This was quite a huge step forward for us as a small charity, having a rescue centre and operating a charity shop in a separate location. So, it was really important that we had the technology in place that would not only support those two different aspects of our business but link them both together.
We had some capacity for broadband here on this site but we’ve now upgraded that significantly to have really superfast broadband. We do an awful lot of our admin, our commercial activities, our marketing, online, so it was really important that we had a presence across a number of digital platforms and had the infrastructure in place to support them.
So, at our charity shop in Pontypridd we have electronic point of sales (epos) system which is really important not only for taking the money across the counter but it’s about analysing the data and having that information. And we have a card reader there as well with that.
We also have quite a bit of technology in the shop now, which again plays to the fact that people want to get their information online, so they can come in, they can look at the screens and then they can go and interrogate our website, find out about volunteering, find out about how they can help and support us, or find out about the dogs that are looking for homes.
Here at Llanharan, we run commercial boarding kennels as well and so therefore we have the electronic point of sales system. We also use cloud based accounting system. We also use our social media sites. We communicate across the sites and with our volunteers through workplace – and that’s proving to be hugely effective.
We’ve just had a Voice over Internet Provider (VoIP) system installed and that allows us then to operate a mini exchange here but also, out-of-hours when we take in stray dogs, that allows people to call us and tell us about a dog that they’ve seen or they have found.
A good example of collaborating on social media campaigns is with our partners at the good wash company. Their luxury products are on sale in our charity shop, all profits go to help our rescue dogs.
Skype is one of those systems that is actually proving to be more and more useful for us. It’s a great way of communicating between our different sites, with our volunteers, to remote locations. For example, I live in the South West, I’m not always in South Wales so that allows me to interact with people, have meetings, conduct interviews and it really is a great facility to have.
We’ve got some exciting plans for the use of technology including a new website... it really will improve the way that we interact with the public and that is absolutely essential to the work that we do.
We’ve got some exciting plans for the use of technology including a new website and that will really help us to raise our profile, get more people engaged and involved, either volunteering, donating, supporting, make sure that all the information on our dogs is current and up to date but it really will improve the way that we interact with the public and that is absolutely essential to the work that we do.