Third time lucky for fundraiser

After two false starts in recent weeks it was third time lucky for the annual Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary Open Day last Sunday and hundreds turned up to offer their support, raising just short of £12,000.

The event had originally been planned for August 10, but torrential rain left the field, which is hired as a car park for visitors, waterlogged and the sanctuary’s founder, Barby Keel, reluctantly cancelled the event. It was hoped that the Open Day would go ahead the following weekend but a shortage of mini-buses, that Barby hires to shuttle those without cars to and from the event, meant another postponement.

Barby Keel open Day 2014 SUS-140828-101601001

Barby Keel open Day 2014 SUS-140828-101601001

The Open Day was finally on track last Sunday (August 24) and the sanctuary opened it’s doors, though Barby had been concerned that being a Bank Holiday weekend it would not be a good day the crowds still flocked to the Freezeland Lane sanctuary. Barby said: “Bank Holiday is not usually a good time to hold an event as there is so much going on everywhere. The poor weather in previous weeks had been so disheartening after everyone had worked so hard but I must say thank you to everyone who turned up and for their patience.”

The Open Day gives visitors the opportunity to see all the animals and birds that are loved and cared for at the sanctuary. Pigs, hens, ducks, geese, goats, cats, dogs, horses, are some of the creatures great and small that live side by side.

Those eager to be the first in line to snap up some of the hundreds of bargains on offer queued for over an hour to be first through the gate. Along with refreshments, stalls sold a vast array of items ranging from clothes, shoes, furniture, garden tools and toys to plants, flowers, fruit and veg, and bric a brac, which had all been donated. Barby said: “People donate things for the Open Day throughout the year and I thank them for their generosity.”

Entertainment for all ages was also on offer with Games, Tombola’s, Raffles, and organ music from Chris Metalle and a guest appearance from ‘Elvis’ - aka Ray Collett - who sang a range of Elvis classics and made the afternoon go with a swing.

Barby added: “People look forward to seeing Chris on the organ and I must thank him, Elvis, Carina for the hire of the field, my motley crew of helpers and everyone who supported the event.”

The Open Day raised £11,800. Barby said: “It turned out to be a lovely day. I so enjoyed myself. It was brilliant.”