Gareth created a charity so he could help more animals experience love and feel safe
I absolutely loved learning about Farplace Animal Rescue. The idea of the Farplace family is just so full of love and compassion. I love it! Animals that can't be re-homed, become part of the Farplace family, where they are welcomed and cared for.
Another reason I want you to read about them, is because, they advocate veganism. Their focus is about saving animals, anyway anyhow!
Can you tell me a bit about Farplace Animal Rescue's mission?
We rescue and re-home animals that have been rejected by other rescue centres. One example of this is, feral cats who have the feline equivalent to HIV. We specialise in rescuing animals who are perceived as being difficult cases, but we also take in those who are rejected due to age or other health issues.
Where is Farplace Animal Rescue based?
In the North Pennine hills on a small holding and we have shops in Newcastle and Wallsend.
How far does your support reach? Where do you rescue animals from, how do you rehabilitate animals that have suffered, and are any re-homed etc)
We try to re-home animals wherever was can but the overriding principle is we want to make sure they are not killed. So, if a new home cannot be found, or if an animal has problems where our vet recommends that we do not re-home, then we keep this animal as part of the Farplace Family. However, the vast vast majority of our animals are suitable for re-homing and therefore we attempt to find them a home after we have completed some of our checks. Only recently, we re-homed an 18 year old cat to a new and loving home.
What inspired you to create Farplace Animal Rescue? How did the need for it become apparent?
People brought animals to us and when they found out we didn’t mind taking them in, they brought more. We ended up with a house full and so decided it was time to do it more formally.
I understand that Farplace Animal Rescue runs vegan festivals. Why do you get involved in them? What's the connection?
Promoting veganism and saving animals are the same thing to us. We have never understood how an animal rescue could approve of, for example, a race night or a hog roast. Every vegan saves animals and helps the planet just as much as our direct rescue work does. We think vegan festivals and our new campaign helps this.
We also now have a vegan store in the centre of Newcastle.
How many festivals have you organised or been involved in to date and where have they been?
We have run 4 North East Vegan Festivals since 2013 at the Stadium of Light. This year we have 8 festivals, 3 of which are in the North East and 1 each in London, Cumbria, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. The most recent Irish Vegan Festival had over 2400 people attend, so we will need to book a much bigger venue for 2017. We expect to be running 10 or more festivals in 2018 and I have just appointed a full time vegan events manager to help me .
Is Farplace Animal Rescue owned by, or in partnership with, another company that tests on animals or sells non-vegan products?
No, we are a charity and have no owners. We have a board of trustees, the vast majority of who are vegans themselves. We do allow some stall holders to attend festivals who are not vegan, as long as they are 100% vegan on the day and feel that working with such companies encourages more of them to see the growing scale of the vegan market.
Tell me a bit about yourself before you created Farplace Animal Rescue?
I have worked in the voluntary sector for 29 years and I now run my own training business. I manage Farplace and all the festivals in my spare time.
What is your vision for the future of Farplace?
A vegan world would be amazing, and one where vegans work together and have friendly debates about issues without the anger that we sometimes see. As we become more mainstream, this will happen organically.