Blue Cross Trustee Amy Clarke shares her thoughts on how a deep love and of animals and the role they play in our lives, combined with a background in sustainable business and investment, led her to want to support Blue Cross by volunteering as a Trustee…
“Nearly thirteen years ago I rehomed a little Staffie Crossbreed girl called Florence. She was picked up by the dog warden after she’d been spotted chasing a bus through Reading (she's fearless like that!). As soon as I saw Florence, the connection was instantaneous. She’s nearly 17 (and still has it where it counts). We celebrate her birthday on April 15th - that’s the day we brought her back from the Lewknor rehoming centre.
“She has been unbelievably influential in my life. Everyone has traumas in their life and when Life decided to give me a few lemons Florence taught me to make lemonade. In fact it’s amazing that she was called Florence by the centre, because she really is like a canine Florence Nightingale.
“She has really opened my eyes up to a new way of living - enjoying the present and doing what you love. It wasn't a difficult decision when I was asked to become a Trustee (a little like having all your Christmas's at the same time).
“I met Zair Berry, who was Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the time, and shared Florence's story as well as why I was so passionate about Blue Cross. I wanted to get involved with the team so I could put myself in a position where I can help others experience that type of meaningful relationship with another creature. It’s one of the most beautiful relationships you can have and teaches and helps you, I think, to be a better mother, father, friend, leader etc.
“Being a Trustee is a serious role with an incredibly high level of responsibility - the buck does quite literally stop with us. I sit on the Commercial and Retail Committee (Comco) and the Finance and Support Committee (Fisco), and as part of that the Investment Sub Committee. We work hard to steer the charity strategically and make sure that the public’s generous donations are being spent on achieving our mission and purpose.
“My professional background is in sustainable business and investment, including working with corporate responsibility teams at large corporates and banks and advising on ethical funding and investments. I understand how businesses and philanthropists are looking for new ways to advance their social investment to create lasting positive change.
“Spending time with any animal helps reconnects us with our place in the global system; spending time with Florence reconnects me with the important stuff. I rehomed Florence, but Florence rescued me and continues to on a daily basis. From what? The stresses and strains of human life!
“I hope by volunteering with Blue Cross, I can help animals and also help others to experience somewhat of the joy I experience with Florence.”