Most of you will know Gemma Atkinson from her acting career, or from her successful performance on Strictly last year and as co-host on Hits Radio Breakfast Show, but we are lucky enough to have her as our Bleakholt President.

Gemma officially opened our new Kennel block at our Open Day on Sunday 25 November 2018 and it was a very important and exciting day for our Sanctuary.  The kennels desperately needed replacing and they are now beautiful warm homes for our doggy residents.  They are completely modernised, have under floor heating, much improved sleeping quarters and much more natural light.

The cost of this construction by Rosslee Construction from Accrington, was £350,000 and this was all funded through donations and legacies from supporters of our Sanctuary, as well as a £20,000 grant awarded by the Pedigree and Whiskas Feeding Brighter Futures Grant Fund. It is the first phase of a significant Dog Centre and site re-development and modernisation for which we hope to raise funding over the next 2-3 years.

Gemma took her two dogs Ollie and Norman, to the Opening and said:

“These kennel blocks couldn’t be built without the generous donations from the public and it’s an honour to open them. I have two dogs of my own who live in luxury and I look at them on my bed and feel so upset for the dogs who don’t have homes……and these new kennels will make a difference to the lives of the dogs housed here”

“The staff and volunteers work tirelessly at Bleakholt to give all the animals the best lives while they are here and these kennels take it to another level.”

Sanctuary Manager Karen Weed said: “The new kennels are fantastic. They will make such a difference to the dogs here. They will give them a higher standard of welfare, they have under floor heating and they are lighter than the previous ones and a lot warmer. We want the dogs to have the best time while they are here – and hopefully it’s just a short time for them. This is just the first phase of exciting plans to modernise Bleakholt.”

Here’s some pics of the Open Day, which was a fantastic day with hundreds of visitors. A massive thank you to everyone who came and supported us – we couldn’t do it without YOU!