PetsPyjamas Charity Fund: Interview with Founder Karen Hanton

At our Shoreditch HQ’s, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of the PetsPyjamas Charity Fund. Four times a year, the company will donate funds to a variety of charity organisations in order to make a positive contribution, with our four-legged friends at the very heart of the fundraising. PetsPyjamas founder Karen Hanton tells us more about this exciting opportunity and what a difference it will make to people and their canine companions who need a helping hand (and paw!).

 

Tell us more about the fund…

Well, I was brought up on a farm, so I have always had a very close connection to animals – and being supportive of animal causes, whenever I was in a position to be. One thing that I absolutely love about PetsPyjamas is the fact that everything we do here also a benefit for animals. In fact, a lot of the customers we have will rehome dogs and so on, which is great. It’s also to enable all of us as a team to feel like our job had another dimension, and that actually through our hard work, we were also benefiting another group of people. So that was really behind creating the fund, to give us all a sense of purpose as well. That’s what I really enjoy about doing this whole business.

 

How much have we raised so far?

It’s around £8.5k! We have a target to raise £50k this year, and we are absolutely bang on target so far! So there is every good reason to think that will be achieved. It’s a considerable amount of money, especially for the first bunch of charities that we recommended. That’s another lovely thing – the team (at PetsPyjamas) get to recommend where the money goes. What we will try to find are charities that need the money much more than others. Big charities that have lots of funds can promote themselves more easily. They perhaps don’t need this money as much as some others who have no way of fundraising or have very limited means. That is our objective – our £50k, to benefit lots of people as much as we can.

What does charity mean to you?

Some people think its a bit ‘do-goodie’, and I think charity is a much wider thing. It could be described as ‘generosity of spirit’. I don’t even think charity, a lot of the time involves money. We must be conscious that other people may need help – who may be able to benefit from something. I think companies should think of themselves as having energy that they can harness together, that they can be a great commercial success in order to have a commercial purpose. I think it is absolutely totally reasonable alongside that to think about other people that can benefit from what you are doing. And that is really what we’re doing here. So charity is not always a ‘do-goodie’ thing that makes you feel great. It’s being conscious of the fact that in the course of your life, your work and as individuals – if you’ve got a chance to benefit somebody else alongside what you’re doing, then why would you not do that?

What has been your proudest moment so far, in terms of charity, since PetsPyjamas was founded in 2011?

What I love is that we’ve really touched so many charities from the beginning. And part of the reason for wanting to be involved in this kind of business with pets and animals is that I think they do an enormous amount of good to mankind. I think we’ve never been in a position where, well, sadly we’re getting a bit lonely. We’re meant to be so ‘connected’, and actually the reverse has happened to some of us, and we’re getting very, very lonely. So, I see the tremendous benefit from that people can derive from sharing their life with a dog. Elderly people, sick people, anyone. Pet ownership and dog-ownership is so important. One of our biggest and fastest growing customers here are millennials. That would not have happened in the past. So I think people are really valuing the companionship of a pet. The simple truth is, we’ve got to look after them. They’re weaker than us. They rely very much on the goodness and generosity of mankind. That is what really makes me feel like I want to focus on charity.

 

What are your future plans for PPJ to get further involved in charity?

I would love really focus on building our fund. The other thing that we would really love to do it at all possible is to somehow be more practically involved. I’ve got this idea that maybe we could help people who are not able to walk their dogs enough or be a little more involved in the local community. Maybe, elderly people that have a companion, they may not be able to take them out as much as they would like or as much as the dog would need. The entire team here would love to get involved in something like that. So again, it’s a different form of charity, and its benefiting people and dogs all around. We want to focus 100% on building up up the charity. What’s really fantastic is that the whole team have embraced it so much. It really adds a level of excitement to the thing that we’re doing. People talk about it all the time and look daily to see how much we’ve raised. This has added a level of purpose and I feel incredibly proud that the team have embraced it so well.

Read more about the PetsPyjamas Charity Fund here…

 

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