The 16th of November 2017 marked the start of the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) in Penarth’s centenary celebrations since the Charity first opened it’s door to help war torn Britains sick animals.  Maria Dicken in 1917 was so devastated by the plight of suffering animals in the White Chapel area of London she took it upon herself to help.  After some time on Saturday the 17th of November 1917 Maria Dicken was able to establish a way of providing free treatment to the sick and destitute animals of London and opened her very first dispensary for sick and ill treated animals. Despite skepticism the dispensary was greatly needed and within 6 years a horse drawn clinic was travelling through the streets of London carrying help and treatment for some of the hardest animals to reach and with the overwhelming need for her visionary charity it  soon expanded into bigger premises.  Today 100 years after Maria established the PDSA it is operating across Great Britain and in Europe with multiple Charity Shops to help raise funds, Hospitals, Vets, Support Staff and countless volunteers!   We cannot thank her enough for her vision, inspiration and thoughtfulness and for being that one person to care for the safety and treatment for animals in need.  (More reading visit www.pdsa.org.uk)

The PDSA Penarth shop set about raising awareness of the charities birthday and dressed it’s shop display window in a wonderful vintage dress, vintage collection boxes and historical information about the PDSA and how it’s passion and purpose yesterday and today is one that is vital to the continuation and treatment of animals in need.

In addition to the wonderful window display they decided to bring a birthday spirit to the shop by providing Mince Pies and Orange Juice.  The shop also engaged customers with a fun and friendly Tombola (Prize every time) to help create a warm and fun atmosphere.  The inspiration was created by Pauline Masters (Shop Manager) who wanted to be able to break the ice with customers and members of the public and to help provide an opportunity to talk about the birthday and celebrate the work of the PDSA.

Below are some photographs of customers that came into the shop and some stories that they shared with us about their experiences of the PDSA and why they continue to support the organisation.  The shop in Penarth hopes you will visit them or even consider volunteering for them in Penarth.

“It is all about fun, hard work and making friends here at the PDSA in Penarth”

Pauline Masters – Shop Manager


100 Years Tombola  – A Prize Every Time

Pamela Armstrong – A regular customer and supporter of the PDSA for over 60 years

Pamela won a silly gift and donated £1.00 to the cause because everything is vital to the continuation of the PDSA.  She recalls her earliest memory of the PDSA where she would collect silver paper and foil from the tops of Milk Bottles and from her parents Cigarette packets and donated them when she had collected enough to help raise money for the Charity.  Today she regularly supports the PDSA and makes every opportunity to come in and spend her money within the shop.

Shell and Melanie – They are from Stoke on Trent

They visit all the time to look after their grandchildren and always come into the shop to support the PDSA “It is a wonderful cause and we are regular supporters”.

Barbara – Pontypridd

I come all the way from the Pontypridd every fortnight to visit this shop as I think it is one of the best in South Wales and I specifically come to Penarth for that reason and to support the work of the PDSA!  I am giving this gift to my Great Grandson he will absolutely love it”

Daphnie Jones 

“I always visit this shop I love the atmosphere in here and how friendly people are.”

It was really clear that the time and effort the staff and volunteers took to engage with customers was greatly appreciated as it was the customers sharing their experiences and watching them smile, laugh and joke.  The PDSA simply want to ensure the safety, wellbeing and treatment of sick and injured animals that would otherwise not receive treatment.

Below are some other images from today.


The Shop Manager Pauline Masters would also like to give a big mention to  Simon one of the Volunteers in Penarth who needs to be thanked for all his hard work.  He gives all the customers a smile and works hard to sell raffle tickets and supports all the initiatives on the shop floor without hesitation.  He has a laugh and a joke for everyone thanks Simon.


To volunteer at the PDSA in Penarth call Pauline or Chris on 02920 711128 for more information.



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