RSPCA officer’s big challenge

Liz Rawson, the new RSPCA Fylde branch manager.
Liz Rawson, the new RSPCA Fylde branch manager.

Meet the new Fleetwood-based Fylde branch secretary of the RSPCA.

Liz Rawson, 43, has succeeded veteran Margaret Bysterbosch who retired this year after more than 50 sterling years with the animal charity.

Work is now set to start to revamp the branch’s shop premises on North Albert Street in Fleetwood, which has been closed since April and is set to re-open in January.

And the search is on for a range of animal-loving volunteers who can help out the local branch in various ways.

Liz, who lives in the Rossall area of Fleetwood, said: “Margaret is an inspirational person who did some great work for the branch for many years, and I hope I can continue her good work.

“Our aim now is to revamp and re-open the shop, with a new wider door to give access to wheelchair users, and bring in more volunteers.

“We are looking for stock room helpers, shop assistants, home checkers, animal home befrienders, fundraisers and people who can help put entries on the internet.”

Liz, who has two cats of her own named Bess and Sid, grew up in Thornton and attended Millfield High School.

After school she worked as a kennel maid and then gained a qualification in small animal care, but then switched from animals to people and a career in the care industry.

Her new post entails advising on pet care and how to be a responsible owner, promoting good health in pets, re-housing and supporting any animal in need or distress.

She added: “The job also entails engaging with the community, raising the RSPCA’s profile and fund-raising for the branch, because we are responsible for our own funding. At the moment we need a fridge, a microwave and shelving - so if any one can help with that, it would be great!”

A key part of the charity’s work is to tackle animal cruelty and neglect and Liz is rallying support for two big campaigns by the national RSPCA. The charity is lobbying the government for more cash support. At the moment there is just one RSPCA inspector for 180,000 people, and funding for more inspectors is badly needed.

Additionally, the charity is campaigning for new up-to-date-laws to tackle more recent issues like unscrupulous online trading in animals.

To contact Liz about any of the above issue phone (01253) 873616. To report animal cruelty, call the hotline on 0300 12349999.