Well! 2022 has been a crazy year. We started off the year by signing a 5 year lease on a property which quickly became our first official ‘base’. The centre comprises of 7 rooms:
Our predator room
Our charity shop
Main hospital room
Staff room/community room
Little did we know how much of an impact this place would have on our charity (both positive and negative!)
Having the centre has opened so many doors for us, enabling us to take on and train up far more volunteers than we ever had before. We’ve made some real friends within the team and it has been brilliant! However, having the centre has increased our outgoings significantly. With the cost of rent, utilities, waste disposal and the constant maintainance needed, it has been a real challenge. There’ve been times when we’ve not really been sure how we’ll keep going, but at the same time, times when we’ve felt utterly unstoppable! We’ve learnt a huge amount and it has been brilliant.
We also recognised that we’re here not only to help animals but people too. We managed to secure a grant with Shine to fund some mental health support sessions. These have been absolutely incredible and have led to us creating a separate CIC (Wilder Minds) so that we can do more wellbeing and mental health sessions.
We admitted over 900 animals this year. We admitted at least one feral pigeon, one wood pigeon and one hedgehog every month! They were by far our most common admissions. We also saw an increase in some other species. Bird flu played a huge part in our admissions this year, with other rescues having to close their doors to certain species, we saw an increase in the number of calls we got about waterfowl and sea birds. We’re not really kitted out for these species, but have made it a priority next year to create facilities for them so that we don’t have to turn them away.
We also saw an increase in the number of larger mammals needing our help, including foxes, badger and deer. Again, we didn’t have the best facilities for them so would like to create better facilities next year so that we can help. Our nearest large centre, RSPCA East Winch, is quite a drive away and we feel it’d be beneficial to be able to at least give initial care for these animals without them having to travel as far.