Run or ride for Raystede Animal Welfare Centre

By 13th December 2020

Raystede is a local animal charity near Brighton, just outside Lewes aiming to give animals a better life through rehoming, rehabilitation and sanctuary.

Raystede also aims to give people the support and knowledge they need to treat animals with care and respect. On average, 2,000 animals come into their centre each year and their continuing policy is to find loving homes for dogs, cats and small domestic animals, whilst other animals enjoy the care that they give them for the rest of their days. It costs approximately £8,000 per day to provide their services and they rely on voluntary donations to care for the animals. Any contributions they receive will help to ensure their work continues.

Dave & Ian’s story:

Dave & Ian Churchill are a father & son who share the same passion to help animals. Their fondness of dogs and rescue pets lead them to volunteer in the kennels at Raystede. They walk dogs large and small come rain or shine. Even in the most bitter weather Dave & Ian give up their time to build trust with the most frightened and nervous dogs.

Together Dave & Ian have volunteered in the kennels for over 7 years and in that time their family bond has grown but most surprisingly the dogs that they help have also given them comfort too. Ian suffers from PTSD and bonding with the dogs at Raystede has helped to quiet his nerves on the worst of days. They both feel part of a team at Raystede, where everyone works together with the sole purpose to help animals.

They have both seen first-hand the care and patience that Raystede apply to turn animal’s lives around. Ian remembers Boyce, an emaciated and frightened dog who was suffering from brain damage. After a lot of hard work, the kennels team managed to turn his life around. He got lots of special training to help with his coordination and as his muscles became stronger, he grew in confidence. He is now happily rehomed with a loving family and adores swimming!

Whilst spending so much time at Raystede Dave & Ian fell in love with a cheeky terrier called Razzle. She stole their hearts the moment she wagged her tail, ran across the room to jump on Dave’s lap and licked his ears. They adopted Razzle right away and she and has continued to raise havoc at home ever since. Razzle gives Dave and Ian an unfathomed amount of love and companionship, there is something very special about the bond a rescue dog forms with their forever family. Lockdown has been a hard time for many this year and Dave said that Razzle was brilliant company and when they felt low or stressed, Razzle knew. She would cuddle up to be comforting, as well as making them laugh.

Through volunteering at Raystede and adopting Razzle, they have seen what a difference that Raystede makes to animal’s lives. Animals give so much to people, and Razzle has enriched Dave’s and Ian’s lives tremendously. They are looking forward to cycling in the BM Ride and raising money for the Raystede rescue animals.


John Brooks (Running in Brighton Marathon) “I initially decided to run for Raystede because I love animals and I appreciate the brilliant work that Raystede does in caring for a huge variety of species. I am now running for Raystede because I know how difficult the pandemic has been for them, and what an incredible job they’ve done in these past few months, under very trying circumstances, and I’d like to show them my respect and support.”


Adrian Dawn (Cycling in BM Ride) “Knowing each peddle will help feed an unwanted furry face who is being given care and attention by the wonderful folks at Raystede Animal Home until their forever home comes calling.”


Nikkie Beard (Running in Brighton Marathon) Is running in memory of her mum who was a huge animal lover. Nikkie said, “I run for Raystede because the animals find themselves there through no fault of their own and need a better start. They can’t ask for help but I can be their voice.” 

(Nikkie Beard with her dog Scott)

To find out more information on Raystede and how you can run or ride for them in 2021, click here


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