As always, we received a warm welcome from our friends Romy and Steve Hinde at their stunning Wyreside Hall, near Lancaster. The masked ball in aid of Animal Care and Born Free saw guests greeted by a line of rescue dogs, wagging their tails eagerly. Animal Care rescues and cares for over 40 cats, dogs and other animals at any one time - around 800 a year - and it was thrilling to learn that some of their dogs were reserved by prospective owners on the night.
A delicious vegan/vegetarian buffet, a jazz duo, a beautiful live rendition of Born Free, and a moving film about the 41 years of dedicated work by Animal Care, contributed to an event of emotion and compassion.
The theme of the evening - How an Animal Changed My Life - was highlighted by Born Free Co-Founder Virginia McKenna, who told the moving story of how the death of the last African elephant at London Zoo had led to the creation of the Foundation. Local school children were among the winners who had written stories on the same subject.
Born Free President, Will Travers, concluded by reminding everyone that, as individuals, we can all make a positive difference to the lives of animals in need. He especially recognised the dedication and generosity of Romy and Steve for hosting such a wonderful and successful evening.