My employer, the charity ‘Animals Asia’, very kindly granted me some volunteering days as they believe it is important to encourage and enable us to volunteer for causes close to our hearts.
As I had already adopted a sheep called Wallace from FARS, and I was extremely impressed with the work they did rescuing farm animals, I got in touch to see if there was anything I could help out with.
Monday arrived, waterproof and wellies in the car, I set off to the sanctuary, very excited indeed at the prospect of meeting up close and personal with some of my favourite animals – sheep!
Mike, one of FARS dedicated volunteers, introduced me to Carole, founder, manager, sheep whisperer extraordinaire and an all-round amazing person, who has been rescuing and caring for hundreds of animals for nearly 30 years.
As she showed me around, I was suddenly in heaven, surrounded by wonderful, gentle, furry sheep, some butting my leg (they wanted a biscuit), one nibbling my zip, one having a chew on my wellie buckle and others just generally wanting a bit of fuss. It was so lovely being able to touch their little soft heads, they were so tame, and incredibly Carole knew all of them by name, even the ones roaming in the distance.
I met some of the older, less mobile sheep, and they were looked after superbly, with lots of soft hay to lounge around on, medications to ease their joints and lots of love and fuss of course……to think that these beautiful creatures would have been killed if it were not for Carole and her sanctuary, simply for being old, or lame is hard to think of.
It wasn’t all sheep though – there are also pigs, turkeys, goats and feral cats – all cared for by Carole and a few faithful volunteers.
Carole spoke about the history of how she came to have some of these rescued animals and how she raised some of the sheep from tiny lambs …. who are now all grown up. I must admit I didn’t realise that sheep can live to be about 15, sometimes older.
I found the turkeys very funny – maybe it was my voice, but every time I laughed or spoke loudly they would all ‘gobble gobble’ in unison, extremely loudly, which only made me laugh more, and that would set them off again!
Of course, to run this little piece of heaven and to continue to save as many farm animals as she can…. Carole and the sanctuary need money and sustainable income.
As my expertise is in fundraising, I spent time talking with Mike about new fundraising ideas and how they could raise more funds, and we came up with quite a few different concepts.
Now I know about FARS, I will do everything I can to help them in my spare time – the animals deserve it.
Carole is such a humble, down to earth, lovely lady, very inspiring. I have so much admiration for anyone in animal welfare who works on the front line, doing the ground work. Carole actually reminds me very much of another very inspirational woman, my CEO and founder of Animals Asia – Jill Robinson.
Huge thanks to Carole, Mike & Mary for taking the time to meet me – it was amazing and I hope to be back soon!
Fundraising Development Manager at Animals Asia UK