The highs and lows of animal rescue

If you follow us at Woodlands, you may already be aware of our bad, and good news.

For the second time in a row, the trustees have had to make the difficult decision to cancel an open day on the morning of it running.  This is not a decision that is ever taken lightly, not only because of everybody it will be inconveniencing, not to mention the money the charity will miss out on, but also because of all the supporters who were planning on visiting that day.  However, as much as people can be irritated by health and safety, it is a very important aspect of any event, especially one involving members of the public.  Woodlands are very keen not to gain a reputation for cancelling events, however when the safety of staff, volunteers and members of the public is at risk it is most definitely the correct decision.  Preparation of the site for an open day begins almost a week before, with marquees being set up and items brought out of storage.  As much as possible is left as late as possible, but not everything can be done on the morning of an open day. 

This time, as can so often be the case with the Great British weather, the wind and the rain caused havoc and damaged equipment and stall items, as well as rendering the field that is used for parking, extremely wet, hazardous to drive on, and very slippery for walking.  When marquees are being blown over, it is quite easy to understand why the decision to cancel was taken.

With this decision, also goes the loss of the money that would have been raised over the day, which is in the region of £4000.  The money from open days goes directly towards the running costs of the sanctuary, around £3000 per week. 

This brings us onto a very big high! Not all money received by Woodlands can be used for running costs, Support Adoption for Pets has just awarded Woodlands Animal Sanctuary a cheque for a huge £176,422.00 for the exclusive purpose of building a brand new, shiny cattery for the rescue and rehoming cats.  We still need to fund a significant proportion of the build ourselves, but without this money from Support Adoption for Pets, this new project would most definitely still be a pipe dream.

The progress we have made in the 14 years since its opening in 2005 can only be described as remarkable, when you remember it was founded by one passionate individual and supported by many dedicated members of staff and volunteers, in the grounds of their home, utilising their garden and outbuildings to relieve the suffering of many animals.  The charity has seen staff and volunteer numbers grow, along with their intake of multi-species increase.  As the only rescue in Lancashire with a dedicated hedgehog facility and ability to take hogs in after 5pm We are quite unique in many ways.  Investing in qualified staff, the team also offer volunteering opportunities for those with special needs and boast an education and outreach programme beneficial to all.  Within that time, we have also been supported by very generous benefactors who have donated money for specific projects.  Again, like Support Adoption for Pets, this money has been gifted to be used exclusively on projects like the new stable block and horsebox which is also used for education visits.

Keeping the finances in order for a registered charity, when grants have to be fought hard for and running costs raised in-house, all whilst ensuring the animals in their care continue to receive the best care and are rehabilitated and released or rehomed is no small task and each year our charity progresses it is entirely down to the team of people making it happen.

It would have been impossible for the improvements to facilities to have been made, without the private funding we received, however, without events like the open day, there would be no rescue to improve.

So please – don’t hold it against us, that we have cancelled a couple of events, and if you are able, have a look at ways to donate money to us, because it is only with support in all aspects of finance, that the lifesaving work we do can continue.   


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Registered Charity: 1190858