Christopher Newns, brother of Frances Hay, our founder, has played an active role in the development of the new brand, as a member of the Brand Steering Group.
As we enter this new phase of the charity’s development, we asked Christopher to give us some insight into Frances’ ambitions for the charity and what she might have made of the many ways we are now bringing dogs and people together to change lives.
Here Christopher shares some family insights and photographs from the family album.
Frances’ vision for the charity
I can remember the very beginning, when the charity didn’t even have a name and existed on bits of paper and a small amount of donated money. During one of my visits home from Australia I spent a day with her, and daughter Deborah, in her very cluttered office.
Her vision was extraordinary. Her goal was to get assistance dogs to, in her words, “to hundreds and hundreds of people”. This was at a time when I think there was less than £90 in the kitty. As a marketing man I wondered how she was going to achieve this on the money and resources that she had. She was adamant that she would be successful and was clearly focused on her goal.
Since then of course the charity has developed so that it provides a variety of services other than just the all-important Assistance Dog programme which remains the charity’s major focus. In those early days these new initiatives were not even dreamed of, and yet, if she were here today, she would embrace them with excitement and enthusiasm.
So, in the very early days there was nothing but determination, vision and a clear goal.
Well, look what happened!
Thoughts on how the charity has developed
In the family we always wondered what Frances would have thought of the many changes and developments that have occurred within Dogs for the Disabled … now of course Dogs for Good! I spoke to our 100 year old father about this and he thinks that she would have been delighted at the paths chosen by the charity.
Fran was always progressive in her thinking and excited by new opportunities. She would have relished developing new initiatives. I personally think that she, like all of us within the family, would be really enthused about the Family Dog and Community Dog programmes.
Never one to keep still and always looking ahead she would be over the moon at the way Dogs for Good has developed and changed over the years.
Our new name
And so the charity has reached a point where the old name, Dogs for The Disabled no longer tells the story of the charity. We do so much more than provide assistance dogs and a new name, look and feel was required to tell the story properly. Remember that we have to tell our story to everyone in the community and we have to provide clear opportunities for recognition for our many and valued sponsors and donors.
Fran would have known that a change was needed and would have understood that in this day and age the name, branding and marketing of an organisation are vital ingredients to success. Always progressive in her outlook the consensus within the immediate family is that Fran would think that the new name, Dogs for Good, ticks all the boxes.
Fran would have also known that organisations need to be refreshed – Now the old Dogs for The Disabled will be given a new coat of paint. We will have new marketing initiatives, new programmes, new uniforms and a whole new look and feel. She would have loved to have been involved in all the changes and developments and would have been excited by the changes.