As time seems to rush by it’s easy to become so caught up in the here and now that we can sometimes forget what we’ve achieved, so as the year comes to an end, we’re reflecting on our accomplishments over the last twelve months!
It was a shaky start to the year, with us not being able to open when we'd hoped. Many of you fought for us to open our doors, along with the countless other organisations that were impacted by the ruling to remain closed at the time, and after many petitions and letters to MPs, we were finally given the green light! We opened with so many changes; an online booking system, a one-way system, a no feeding/petting rule, to name a few. You wore your masks, you sanitised your hands, you distanced from other families and our staff – you remained so patient with us, and because of this; because you followed these rules, we were allowed to remain open, and we are still here today when many other similar organisations sadly aren’t. We were genuinely scared for a while, and thanks to you, our animals are still safe in their Forever Home.
We’ve said some sad goodbyes to some of our animals, but we’ve also welcomed some new ones. One of our dearest success stories this year was the rescue of little Ollie the Golden Guernsey who we had heard was due to be euthanised within 24 hours if a home could not be found; you rallied together and helped us in under an hour to raise the funds needed to bring him to the sanctuary, and he was with us the very next day! He has since settled in and even fallen in love with Harper the Pygmy Goat! We can’t imagine Brockswood without this cheeky character now.
After years of talking about wanting to help dogs in some way, we finally did it with your help – we built our brand-new Secure Dog Run and we’re over the moon at how successful you and your dogs have made it! We can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to meet all your waggy friends and we so look forward to seeing them here. Thank you so much for supporting this new venture, we can’t wait to build on this and make it even better for you.
We hosted our Annual Dog Show this year after having to cancel the year before and you helped us make this the biggest and most successful show we have ever had! We still break out into a smile when we think of that wonderful day – thank you!
We built a brand-new aviary for Jasmine and Raj our peafowl, who needed somewhere to call their own home after they started to outgrow their aviary, which was also really beginning to show its old age. This is our largest aviary to date, and we are so proud of what we have achieved for them. We have plans to completely upgrade and modernise all our aviaries for our rescued birds and with your help, we’ll make this dream a reality!
We gained a new team member this year with the addition of Rachel, who joined us as our first full-time Work Placement Coordinator & Animal Keeper! Rachel began volunteering with us when lockdown hit and we needed helping hands more than ever. Like all our amazing volunteers (such as Matt who won the One Voice for Animals Volunteer of the Year Award!) she was eager to learn, worked hard, and fit straight into our wonderful little team. Education is so important in our work and we have been providing work experience at the sanctuary for animal care students for many years now. We’re picking ourselves up following the damage the pandemic has done and going a step further in our education work, and Rachel has been taking charge along with our other team members who are sharing their skills and experience with students and hopefully lots of other people in the future as we branch out our education plans further into the community.
We’ve also been joined by Adina, in another new role here as our Conservation Intern. We’ve always been very passionate about conservation at the sanctuary, and Adina is helping to turn our conservation dreams into reality – we can’t wait to show you some of the things we’re working on together!
These are just some of this year’s achievements, but every day is an achievement to us. Every day our animals have a safe and happy home thanks to your support, and we really couldn’t do this without you! We have so much planned for next year and we’re looking forward to getting started on making some of these plans a reality. We’ve always had big plans for our little sanctuary, and we believe that we can help to touch so many lives for the better. Together, with your support, we can make this happen!