2020, a year none of us will forget. It’s so easy to focus on all of the bad things that happened this year, so we are instead celebrating all of the good and hope that you will be able to do the same. Sometimes it’s only a small win, a happy moment or memory, but they shouldn’t be overshadowed by the bad. So here are ours…
We started the year with our new website, which to date has been visited 36,000 times. After a lot of work (we do it all ourselves) it allowed us to not only share more of our work with you, but run all of our ticketing when we were finally able to open. This included almost 17,000 tickets to visit us this year - a record breaking number of visitors to the sanctuary!
We completed work on our on-site charity cabin, which we’ll be opening once distancing is no longer something we need to worry about. We also completed work on bridges and pathways which meant we were able to open some of our back paddocks to you, and a new wheelchair friendly ramp out of the walled garden. We also, with an enormous amount of help from you, our local police, and some the generosity of local companies, had a major security upgrade; protecting our animals day and night.
Including some new animals who joined us this year, such as the poor Pekin ducks (now thriving with us!) found crammed into a tiny crate, in absolutely appalling condition in a garden. We’ve also celebrated some wonderful moments with our existing residents, such as Mumsy the sheep who was given just weeks to live with suspected cancer and shocked us all with a full recovery!
We enjoyed the most beautiful, sunny weather over the summer months and as we were finally able to open in July; we got to enjoy these days with you. The animals loved sunbathing and playing out in their paddocks (and our new CCTV system showed us they’re still playing late in the evening) – while we enjoyed donated ice lollies while we worked, thanks to the kindness of supermarkets that supported our work.
We held our first online dog show, and thanks to funds YOU helped us raise, work is well underway on our Secure Dog Run, which will enable us to also help dogs in need of somewhere safe to run off-lead.
Our team have worked harder than ever, and you’ll remember that some even packed their bags and moved in for some time to make sure they were able to keep caring for the animals no matter what happened. We took on roles we’d never done before and learned new skills, we adapted to the new challenges the pandemic brought with it, we passed our first aid training, and continued studies in other areas so that we can keep improving our work.
We, along with our sister sanctuary Proteus Reptile Trust, have so far survived the devastating effects the pandemic has had on the country, and specifically the animal care and rescue industry. This is all thanks to YOU! You’ve sent us donations, gifts, and kind messages. You’ve brought your friends and family to see and support us. You’ve written letters to MPs, contacted newspapers and radio stations. You’ve shared our social media posts and helped to spread our work even further - we even got a share from Greenpeace. Most of all, you helped us in our toughest fight yet.
While we spent most of this year apart, you certainly came together for us!