The Berkshire branch of the National Animal Welfare Trust in Great Shefford near Hungerford, are a rescue and rehoming centre that specialises in the care of elderly animals. It’s the only purpose built rescue in the country that helps elderly animals. We are a ten acre site that is home to dogs, cats, sheep, pigs, alpacas, ponies, parrots and tortoises. We are totally self-funded and receive no help from anywhere except our fundraising activities.
!! We are flooded and on the verge of having to close the centre to the public until the water subsides!!
Closing the centre to the public will have a huge impact on our income as we hold events, have a café and charity shop onsite that brings in much needed funds. The rehoming of animals does not cover the cost of vets bills, accommodation or maintenance of the 20 year old farm. Not only is this impacting our funds, all of our field animals have been put on higher ground which is not ideal for elderly animals and their joints.
Pig hates mud and water
We have one small pig called Barry who lives with a sheep called Bjork as she has special needs and was rejected by the other sheep and their area is now getting inaccessible. Barry must be the only pig in the country that hates water hence we have started a Just Giving campaign called ‘Barry can’t swim’.
The aim of our fundraiser is to build ditches along our boundary to enable the flood water when the floods start to drain away naturally into the flood alleviation stream further down into the local village. The last time we flooded was 2014 where our fields were out of action for three months.
Unfortunately we are in the Lambourn valley so we receive the overflow of water from the higher ground which then runs through half our grazing land, our dog exercise areas and our car parking field.
Not having the fields also means we cannot rotate our field animals to eat the grass so are having to buy hay and feed that we normally wouldn’t have to.
The just giving campaign is to raise £5k to pay for the ditch work we are lucky enough to have a company giving us the traffic management whilst the work is being done free of charge when the work can start.
We do help the local community a lot in various ways.
We offer a chatty natter café seating area so if you’re lonely or new to the area we have seats where if you sit there you are open for people to talk to you it helps combat loneliness.
We take in lots of local animals when people cant cope or have other reasons for re-homing.
We take in lots of special needs young adults to help work with our animals to help build their confidence.
We have children in from Mary Hare school teaching them cookery lessons.
We do educations talks to children and groups all free of charge.
We offer a support service free of charge to people that have lost animals and are going through bereavement process or if they have had pets stolen or even when they have to give up animals.