Last weekend was our Big Black Friday Give Back. We donated 10% of all the money you spent with us to animal charities. You told us which charities to donate to, and for our wild bird charity, you chose Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital. This week we’re going to share a bit about the work they do and how your nominations and donation will help.
How the Weekend Went
2020 has been a year like no other, so here at Home and Roost, we decided to do Black Friday a bit differently.
We know how hard the pandemic has hit animal charities. How the demand for their services has sky-rocketed, and how raising all-important funds has been more difficult than ever.
So instead of offering you, our customers, discounts this Black Friday, we pledged to donate 10% of all Black Friday weekend sales to animal charities. And we asked you to tell us where you would like the money to go.
The response has been amazing. We knew you were animal lovers, But we couldn’t have guessed how many of you would want to get involved.
We received more than 1500 nominations for different animal charities up and down the country. From small animal charities with huge support from their local communities, to some of our best known national animal welfare charities.
And when it came to shopping over the weekend, you didn’t hold back either. Even though we were offering no discounts, you dug deep for our animal charities and bought hundreds of hutches, runs, bird tables and hedgehog houses. It was a record-breaking weekend for us, and our workshops have been super busy getting your orders out.
All this has meant that we have been able to donate and a total of £1,892.20 to animal charities chosen by you. With a cheque for £378.44 winging its way to Brent Lodge right now.
We caught up with Asha at Brent Lodge to find out a bit about their work and how the money will help.
The Work of Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital
Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital was started nearly 50 years ago by Denis Fenter, a keen photographer and naturalist. Like almost all good animal charities things started small, in Denis’s garden shed to be precise. Today the charity helps close to 4,000 wild birds and animals each year.
When Denis rescued an injured sparrow from his pond, he found it difficult to get help for the bird and realised that there was a lack of support for wildlife in his area of West Sussex.
He worked with a local vet and was soon taking in a whole array of injured and orphaned birds in the local area.
By 1977 numbers had increased to the point where they had outgrown the shed and Denis moved to larger premises with better facilities.
In 1978 Brent Lodge achieved charitable status, and a small team of volunteers supports Denis in helping ever-growing numbers of birds and small mammals.
Though Denis sadly passed away in 2019, he leaves behind a fantastic legacy.
Brent Lodge now has a small permanent staff of animal specialists and administrators supported by over 100 volunteers. They offer support to birds, small and large wild mammals of all species.
They are halfway through a major building project which included dedicated enclosures for large mammals, birds of prey and water birds. There will be a dedicated admissions building with triage and quarantine facilities. Asha explained how the pandemic had highlighted the need for this, to keep staff, patients and the public safe.
The ultimate aim is to build a whole new hospital with on-site vet facilities.
Asha explained that almost all the birds and animals they see are in trouble due to human activity. Whether that’s road accidents, orphaning, or injury through contact with rubbish.
Hedgehogs are now also a big part of their work with over 100 being cared for onsite at the moment.
Brent Lodge aims to get their patients back into the wild wherever possible. They have a team of release associates who help with this. Finding suitable release sites and volunteers for birds and small mammals is relatively easy. But finding landowners who are willing to release the large mammals like deer, foxes and badgers onto their property is an ongoing challenge.
Brent Lodge has great plans for the future but this year has presented some big challenges for them. The flow of animals needing help has not slowed, But they have been able to accept much less help from volunteers due to social distancing requirements.
Fundraising has almost ground to a halt with their charity shops closed for many months and community events cancelled.
And costs have gone up. Asha explained that in a typical year, much of their food is donated at community events. Because these haven’t happened, all food is having to be purchased with a huge increase in costs. And as the demand for PPE has soared around the world the cost of the gloves and aprons, Brent Lodge use every day with their patients has gone up too.
So your donation really couldn’t have come at a better time, Asha explained.
I’m sure you’ll agree that its a privilege to be able to support such fantastic work.
We wish Asha and the team all the best and look forward to keeping up with events at Brent Lodge in the future.