Dave Fernley  – “The Womble with the Spreadsheets”.

Dave Fernley

I’ve been volunteering with Ryedale Dog Rescue  (RDR) for almost five years, although my links go back to 2011, when we adopted Sally, our first RDR dog. Sadly, Sally is no longer with us, but we share our home, lots of fun and furniture with Bruce, also a Ryedale dog.

Since March this year I have been RDR’s treasurer. I started the role pretty much at the same time that Covid-19 kicked in – honestly, there’s no link, so it’s not my fault – and it’s meant some challenges for us.

On top of the usual jobs –  finalising last year’s accounts for the Charity Commission, liaising with banks operating with a skeleton staff, and planning the budgets for this year – our biggest challenge is a potential loss of income. The spring and summer months are our busiest fundraising period and the vast majority of it  is done face-to-face. Sadly, our pop-up shop, dog shows, market stalls and regular Saturday coffee morning have had to go. And, in what is the bitterest blow to me, so has our regular monthly social at the Blue Ball!

The challenge is to fill the gap in our finances, so we can continue to look after the dogs currently in our care and prepare for the new dogs we expect to receive once the Covid restrictions are lifted.

But, like the ‘real’ Wombles, RDR volunteers are a resourceful lot, so we’ve turned our hands to all sorts of new (and safe) ways of raising funds. We’ve been busy claiming gift aid, making grant applications, selling online (and from garden walls), and launching two campaigns Sponsor a Kennel and Mend Beryl’s Broken Heart.

I’ve spent quite a bit of the last couple of months bent over a smoking laptop, typing figures in various RDR spreadsheets. I must admit, when I first started doing it, I was quite despondent, and worried how we were going to manage this year. But, although we’re not out of the woods yet, things are looking healthier for us. This doesn’t mean I’m letting you off the hook, we still need your money, so head to www.ryedaledogrescue.com/donate for more information about how you can help.

When not ‘treasuring’ I’ve been playing around with RDR’s website, trying to make it easier for everyone to use. But watch this space, we have plans for it!

Despite the challenges, I love volunteering with RDR: we’re a happy bunch of people, united by our love of dogs. We’re always looking for volunteers, so if you fancy helping out email us at enquiries@ryedaledogrescue.com.


You won’t regret it. We sometimes even give each other presents, like the fantastic Covid proof face masks that Anne’s made for us. I might wear mine next time I go to the bank for RDR – now that’s what I call extreme fundraising!