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SERC Downpatrick Students and Staff donate to USPCA Pet Food Bank

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SERC Downpatrick Students and Staff donate to USPCA Pet Food Bank

When the staff from the South Eastern Regional College campus in Downpatrick heard from Volunteer Now that pet owners were having to give away their beloved pets as they could no longer afford to feed them, they immediately responded by organising a pet food donation campaign.

In the space of just three weeks students had collected enough supplies that will certainly ensure that some animals will get to stay with their owners.

This week staff from the USPCA travelled to the campus to receive the donations and to talk to the students about helping pet owners with the cost-of-living crisis as well as volunteering roles at each of their branches.

Michelle Hickland, Deputy Head of School, said “it is a great project for the students to be involved with, many of them have pets themselves and would be very upset if they could not care for them properly.”


Annie Quinn, Marketing & Communications Officer with the USPCA said “The USPCA is grateful to Volunteer Now and the SERC for supporting the USPCA. The students’ fundraising efforts will make a difference to animals across Northern Ireland and we look forward to welcoming some new volunteers also.”

Volunteer Now were delighted to collaborate with SERC and USPCA, bringing them together to make such an invaluable impact on their community.  Clara O’Callaghan, Volunteer Support Officer for Newry Mourne & Down said “SERC were exploring volunteering opportunities in the area when I mentioned the USPCA and what they were facing as cost-of-living crisis impacted on pet owners. Michelle and Joanne, being pet lovers themselves, immediately committed to getting the students involved. Over 50 students turned up to listen to the USPCA with many now interested in volunteering with them”.

If you would like to volunteer with the USPCA or make a donation of pet food, please contact the USPCA on 028 3025 1000 or go to their website

For any volunteering role in your area go to

Picture (L-R): Clara O’Callaghan (Volunteer Now),  Joanne Murray (SERC), Michelle Hickland (SERC), Charlotte Hamer (USPCA),  Annie Quinn (USPCA)

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