The Blue Cross, one of the UK’s leading animal welfare charities, today (28 July) welcomed the appointment of a new chairman following its annual general meeting in London. Blue Cross trustee Zair Berry takes the reins from Diane Sinclair, who has been a trustee since 1998 and chairman of the board for nine years.
Mrs Sinclair said: “It has been a great privilege to hold this office in The Blue Cross, which I can honestly describe as a unique animal welfare charity. I know that with Zair Berry at the helm it will be in very good hands and I look forward to see it continuing to flourish.”
Mr Berry, a keen animal lover, is a long-term supporter of The Blue Cross, having served on the board of trustees since 2003. He grew up with dogs, coming from a family of highly successful miniature bull terrier breeders who produced several Crufts winners over the years. A chartered accountant, he formerly ran international training centres for Arthur Andersen and Accenture across the world, and brings nearly 40 years of financial and organisational experience to the charity.
Zair Berry said: “After serving as a Blue Cross trustee for several years now, I’m honoured to step into the shoes of past chairmen who have shown outstanding dedication to one of Britain’s leading animal charities. In the current climate of austerity I hope to build on the firm foundations that have already been laid to ensure we come out of the recession even stronger, and to continue providing the highest quality care to even more animals in need and their owners.”
As chairman, a voluntary position, Mr Berry will lead a 14-strong board of trustees in support of chief executive Kim Hamilton and her team as they implement the charitable objectives of The Blue Cross and strive to maintain a strong financial position for the future.
The appointment comes at an important time for The Blue Cross, which is developing plans to expand its animal welfare services to meet an increasing demand from sick and homeless animals across the UK. In 2009, the charity took in 6,508 dogs, cats and small pets at its adoption centres across the UK, including a 65% rise in animals being given up for financial reasons. 142 horses and ponies were cared for at the charity’s dedicated equine centres and 73,213 veterinary consultations were carried out at its animal hospitals and clinics.
The Blue Cross annual review 2009 is now published and will be available to download shortly at www.bluecross.org.uk.