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Spider’s Appeal and Barry Atkinson

Ask Barry Atkinson about Spider's Appeal and it won't be many moments before he tells you "This is all about a dog.”

What is Spider's appeal?

It is a unique adventure by a dog (Spider) and his owner, Barry Atkinson, pursuing a challenging lifestyle whilst raising funds for charity.

From its beginnings in 2003 the adventure has developed into a clear mission, and evolved rapidly into fundraising for charities related to Countryside and Health, and establishing field-sports records for beating on driven shoots throughout the UK.

What is the fundraising policy and where do the funds go?

Spider's Appeal has a rock-solid policy regarding fundraising and funds go 50% to Cancer Research UK and 50% to the educational projects of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation Charitable Trust.

Barry's words from his website http://www.spidersappeal.co.uk/ regarding the policy…… "This is to a) ensure that every donated penny remains intact and is guaranteed to be forwarded to the two charities, evidenced by accurately maintained records and audit, (nothing is deducted from the fundraising to meet expenses); and b) ensure that every penny forwarded to the charities is effective for it's intended purpose by funding specific projects and not financing administration costs.”

The mission

‘To help protect your countryside and your health'

The targets and final challenge...

  • Target 1 To beat on shoots in 100 UK counties.
  • Target 2 To beat on 1000 different shoots in UK counties.
  • Target 3 To fundraise £1 Million to be divided equally between The National Gamekeepers' Organisation Charitable Trust, and Cancer Research UK.

The Final Challenge will create two additional Field-Sports Records;
The most Grouse moor shoots visited, and the most Grouse/Partridge/Pheasant shoots visited.

Spider – a very special dog

The original aim of the challenge was to establish a new field-sports record by beating on different driven shoots on each day of the partridge/pheasant season in as many UK counties as possible. But, as many people would be met during the journey, it was obviously an excellent opportunity for fundraising so Barry made that the top priority.

Three days after confirming the arrangement with the cancer charity, Barry discovered a cancerous tumour on Spider. In an attempt to find a positive outcome from the crisis, Barry decided to focus the whole adventure on Spider and name the fundraising after him - Spider's Appeal was born.

More about Spider – from www.spidersappeal.co.uk

Spider (Pocklea Roller) was a liver/white English Springer Spaniel.

He was born in Yorkshire on 23 June 1992, being bred by David Garbut of Pocklington, from Drakeshead Twist out of Trebornil Tess.

For six years he worked as a ‘keeper's dog on Welbeck Abbey Estate in Nottinghamshire before being adopted by Barry.

As figurehead of the Appeal he visited all 398 shoots with Barry during the first four seasons despite carrying a cancerous tumour.

He died naturally at home on 8 April (Easter Sunday) 2007.

His ashes are scattered within each of the shoots subsequently visited by the Appeal in order to maintain his presence and role.

CSJ's involvement

Barry uses CSJ to feed his dogs and asked CSJ to become official ‘partners' to aid in financing his expenses (since all of the funds he raises go to the two charities) and they were happy to be involved in such a worthy and genuine cause.

At March 2010

Barry has done 7 seasons, visited 701 shoots in 93 counties and raised £270,000 so far. He says, "I've met lovely people and seen fabulous scenery.”

If and when the targets are achieved, at best by the end of Season 2012/13, Spider's Appeal will have completed a full decade of beneficial adventure and will close.

Much more information, photographs of Spider and Barry and details for making donations are at www.spidersappeal.co.uk

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Spider’s Appeal and Barry Atkinson

A unique adventure by a dog (Spider) and his owner, Barry Atkinson, pursuing a challenging lifestyle whilst raising funds for charity.
(You are on this page).

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