“I was introduced to Mayhew by my dear friend, animal behaviorist, Oli Juste. We shared, amongst many things, a commitment to animal welfare, and a deep love of rescue dogs. In fact, it was Oli and his fiancé Rob who helped care for my rescue dog, Guy, when I had just moved to the UK and he was recovering from a debilitating accident. They loved him as though he was their own.
It was nearly four years ago, as I was exploring possible organizations to volunteer with, that Oli brought me to Mayhew. He knew that beyond their adoption and rescue programs, their international work to keep animals safe, and their local work to find abandoned pets homes, that I would be drawn to their deep love of community, which transcended the animals themselves, and extended to the people around them. He was right. I fell in love with Mayhew, and soon became their Royal patron.
As my three-year patronage to Mayhew came to a close earlier this year, I reflected on the work they have achieved in the hardest of times—during a global pandemic with minimal resources, safeguarding staff from their stations in Afghanistan, and still resolving to remain steadfast in their vital day to day work for animal and human welfare throughout London and across the globe.
Every day there was another twist and turn, every week another update—which Oli and I would connect about: “What can we do? How can we do more? Look at the amazing work they continue to do.”
On January 15, 2022, my beloved friend Oli tragically and very suddenly passed away. It has left me, and so many others, heartbroken and reflective—knowing that the legacy he leaves for our furry friends is beautifully simple: just love them. Especially those left behind or forgotten. In his memory, we will be creating the Oli Juste wing at Mayhew, to shelter the animals who may have a harder time finding their forever homes. Because much like Oli, they will never be forgotten, and they will always be loved.
Though my time as patron of Mayhew has come to a close, my unwavering support has not. I encourage each of you to support in whatever way you are able. The emotional support of a rescue animal is unparalleled—as you’ll soon realize: it is not you who saves them, it is they who save you.
To the Mayhew community, thank you for entrusting me as your patron. It has been an honor.
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex”
Howard Bridges, Mayhew’s Chief Executive said:
“It has been an incredible privilege for Mayhew to have worked closely with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, since 2019 when she became our Royal patron for a three-year term.
It has been a busy and productive three years together where we have gained so much from her kind support. As we look to the future, Mayhew has launched an exciting new strategy to maximise our critical animal welfare work.
Although we have mutually agreed to end the patronage, as a committed rescue pet parent, the Duchess will continue to support Mayhew and champion our ambitions.
The Duchess has generously made a donation in memory of her much-loved friend Oli Juste, the well-known dog trainer and behaviourist, and we are naming a wing in his honour at our London rehoming centre.
We are indebted to The Duchess for her dedicated support over the past three years; she shares Mayhew’s values and commitment to improving the lives of in-need animals and pet owners in our local communities across the UK, and internationally.
Her enthusiasm for our mission has inspired many more people to support and donate to our charity to save dogs and cats from a life of cruelty and neglect, support local pet owners in crisis and find loving and forever homes for abandoned animals.
On behalf of the board of Trustees and everyone at Mayhew, I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Duchess for her enthusiasm and ongoing support to our mission.”
For more information, please contact Esther Porta, PR and Media Officer, on 0787 043 9158 or email [email protected]
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