BLOG
Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine
charity

Style with significance

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 12.22.16

Stand out from the crowd with this exclusive ‘Hepburn’ style poppy dress from The Royal British Legion.

Created by boutique London brand Lady Vintage, who specialise in 1950’s vintage styled fashion, the dress combines a timeless ‘Hepburn’ outline with a beautiful poppy feature front panel. Featuring a flared skirt, leather effect belt, high neckline and concealed zip fastening, it will turn heads whether sipping on a cocktail at a drinks party or picnicking in the park.

The dress costs just £39.99 and is available exclusively from The British Legion’s Poppy Shop, www.poppyshop.org.uk, where all proceeds raised go directly to the Legion to help fund the important work they do in providing care and support to members of the British Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Record £3.1million donation!

8c005d8a-231b-42ba-a212-5ff0797e8f81

National Garden Scheme (NGS) has made a record donation of £3.1million from funds raised at garden openings in 2017

This year their beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carer's Trust, Queen's Nursing Institute, Parkinson's UK, Perennial and MS Society.

Donations to charities who actively promote the health benefits of gardens have been increased this year and include two new beneficiaries - Leonard Cheshire and Maggie's Centres. This year's donation to Macmillan Cancer Support also marks an ambitious five year partnership to fund a new specialist cancer care unit at Y Bwthyn in South Wales.

They would like to thank all their garden owners, volunteers and garden visitors for their amazing support, and for their record-breaking fundraising. Read more on their website here >>> www.ngs.org.uk

Eggcellent

The Children's Trust Easter Fair Eggs

An ‘Eggcellent’ day out for the whole family – The Children's Trust Easter Fair

Promising enough chocolate eggs to feed the whole of Surrey, The Children’s Trust annual Easter Fair returns on Saturday 31 March. Taking place at the charity’s specialist centre in Tadworth between 12 and 4pm, this event is one not to be missed.

Family fun includes the much-loved Easter egg hunt, an Easter themed market, Easter egg decorating, Wacky Wheelers mini-tanks, ponies, fairground rides, raffles and more. Local band Atlantis will also be entertaining crowds with music throughout the day.

Last year the event raised more than £6,000 and it is hoped that this amount will be beaten with the fantastic attractions and games on offer for families from across Surrey and Sussex who attend. All proceeds from the event go to The Children's Trust, supporting children and families affected by brain injury and neurodisability.

FREE entry for children (under 16), £3 for adults. Book now, www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk

About The Children’s Trust
Every year 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness and many have to live with ongoing, long-term difficulties. The Children’s Trust gives children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability opportunities to live the best life possible, by providing specialist rehabilitation, education and community services across the UK. For more info please visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk

Jumbo Welcome

Image-1

101 artist designed elephants enter the City of Mumbai through the Gateway of India

Politicians, celebrities, artists and designers came together at the Gateway of India Mumbai, where a stunning display of 101 artistic elephants were assembled to celebrate the launch of the first ever Elephant Parade India. The elephants will be paraded across the city in a series of public art exhibitions and simultaneously be sold at an online auction on Paddle8, online auction partner, going live on Wednesday 28 February 2018.

Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra inaugurated the parade with Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Hon'ble Minister of Women and Child Development & Founder, People for Animals and Smt. Poonam Mahajan, Hon'ble Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and Parade Ambassador.

The inauguration was attended by key supporters of Elephant Family including Natasha Poonawalla, Vikram Goyal and Beenu Bawa along with artists, designers and celebrities including Rohit Bal, Ashiesh Shah, Michelle Poonawalla, Aradhana Seth, Mozez Singh, Mehr Rampal, Dhruvi Acharya, Pranab Das, Jennifer Winget and Sehban Azim . Dr Sandeep Kr Tiwari, of the Wildlife Trust of India - Elephant Family’s biggest conservation partner and the organisation pioneering the 101 corridor solution for India’s elephants also attended.

Created as part of the UK India Year of Culture, Elephant Parade India is organised by Elephant Family in association with Good Earth and in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India. The sales generated through the online auction will raise funds to secure 101 crucial Indian elephant corridors, the pathways that elephants depend upon to get from one forest feeding ground to the next.

The exhibition dates and venues across the city of Mumbai include:
March 2-6: Priyadarshini Park
March 2-6: Shri Siddhivinayak Mandir
March 2-6: High Street Phoenix Lower Parel
March 2-6: Sophia’s College for Women
March 2-6: Radio One office Lower Parel
March 3-7: Worli Sea Face
March 8-11: R City mall Ghatkopar, Phoenix Market City Kurla, Grand Hyatt-Kalina
March 14-18: Carter Road beach and amphitheatre; Bandra Fort; Infiniti Malls Malad & Andheri; Oberoi Mall; Taj Land’s End, Bandra; Bombay Art Society, Bandra

Ruth Ganesh, Trustee Elephant Family said: “We dreamed of the Gateway of India to launch our herd and never quite believed it would come true. Today made us feel like children in a sweet shop on a sugar high. Thank you and get ready Mumbai - these elephants will bring you so much joy.”

Poonam Mahajan, Parade Ambassador added: “Having worked as an environmentalist and animal lover for so long, I was thrilled to be approached by the Elephant Family to support the same cause which we have been working on with People for Animals for Asiatic Elephants. It’s important to us as over the past 100 years we’ve lost 90% of Asian Elephants, and now as nature, the environment and human beings all co-exist together, awareness is now coming, and it is time for action. By showcasing these beautifully painted 101 elephants by renowned artists and designers all across the city of Mumbai we are bringing everyone together to increase that awareness. Through this initiative we’d like to raise significant funds to help India’s 101 corridors for elephants, and build the crucial rescue centres around the forests that are so needed. This wonderful art exhibition we have launched is the first step and the exhibition is open to all Mumbaikars .”

Please visit www.elephant-family.org

Bookham charity wins lottery funding

BOOKHAM CHARITY WINS £97k HERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDING TO OPEN UP “ROYAL” COLLECTION OF NEEDLEWORK TO THE PUBLIC

The Grange charity for people with learning disabilities in Bookham has won funding worth £97,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a heritage room telling the story of its beginnings as ‘The School of Stitchery and Lace’ founded in 1938.

The project will preserve the charity’s historic collection of needlework, which has royal connections, and create a new interactive learning and heritage space open to all visitors.

The collection includes embroidered items and there are numerous letters between The School and the royal household - from Queen Elizabeth’s nurse ordering a copy of a dress to hand-drawn designs for Queen Mary’s nightgowns.

People with disabilities at The Grange will be involved in the set up and running of the project which will build stronger links between the charity and the local community and will become part of the Bookham Heritage Trail.

Gill Caldwell, from The Grange said: “We are delighted to have won this Heritage Lottery funding and very grateful to lottery players. It will allow us to preserve our historic needlework collection for future generations and couldn’t come at a better time as we celebrate our 80th anniversary in 2018. We would love to hear from anyone with memories of The School of Stitchery and Lace and hope people will contact us.

“The grant will enable us to digitise photographs and letters and make flip books that visitors can handle and read at their leisure. There will be headsets for listing to oral histories as well as interactive games. Once set up, the Heritage room will host learning events and community activities. We particularly want to welcome school groups.”

“When The School - now The Grange - opened in our Victorian mansion in Bookham in 1938, its founder, Miss Julia Sweet, became a pioneer in training women with disabilities in skills that would give them an income and independence. We carry on that tradition today.”

The Grange is the only adult care provider in Surrey able to offer accommodation, care and a wide range of skills training all on one site. With a focus on teaching practical and creative arts including needlework, people can develop life and work skills in the charity’s shops, cafes and mini businesses as well as take part in sessions in horticulture, catering, communications, IT, woodwork and creative arts.

Below: Zena, a tenant of The Grange, with a nightdress case made for Queen Mary
image002
The Grange works with people with disabilities, helping them to lead independent and fulfilling lives by offering residential care and supported living. For more information about its work, please visit our website at: www.grangecentre.org.uk

Weybridge worker completes charity challenges

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 15.05.25

Kraig Seymour bravely took on his second charity challenge - a 10,000 foot skydive - to raise money for local children’s charity Shooting Star Chase.

Kraig, 28 from Mitcham in Surrey who works in Weybridge, has now completed two jaw-dropping charity challenges in aid of the Surrey-based hospice charity. Firstly, Kraig braved a 100 metre abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, stating “it looks much higher when you’re stood underneath it!”

Kraig’s next challenge was a hair-raising 10,000-foot sky dive at the GOSkydive centre in Salisbury, in October!

Being a father to Noah, 2 and Willow, 1, Kraig chose to fundraise for Shooting Star Chase - a leading children’s hospice charity that cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

The father of two, who completed the challenges as part of the new Weybridge Champion Timber branch opening, can still be sponsored in-branch and online at www.justgiving.com

Kraig says: “The sky dive was the craziest thing I think I’ve ever done. I was really excited to begin with but this soon turned to nerves as the plane went higher and higher! I’m so pleased that my partner and children could come to watch and support me – it meant I had to put a brave face on regardless. I’m determined to hit my £1,000 target so am keeping my Just Giving page open a little longer – please give whatever you can for this important charity!”

Elmbridge Community Fund

16

Partridge Muir & Warren is the first local business to support Elmbridge Community Fund

Partridge Muir and Warren (PMW), the Esher based Chartered Financial Planner and Wealth Manager, has become the Founding Corporate Partner of Elmbridge Community Fund (ECF).

PMW has provided an initial donation to ECF along with a commitment to make further donations each year. These donations will be calculated with reference to the annual profit achieved by the PMW Academy Portfolio; an investment fund created to assist in the training and development of PMW staff. The investment fund was established with Company money to enable trainee staff to act as fund managers and learn from both their successes and failures before taking responsibility for clients’ portfolios.

Elmbridge is one of Surrey's most affluent boroughs and often features as one of the best places to live in the UK. Nevertheless, there are pockets of disadvantage in the borough and the Elmbridge Community Fund, part of the Community Foundation for Surrey, was created to target and help those groups and communities that are often overlooked.

Simon Lewis, CEO of PMW said: “The nature of our business means that inevitably, we serve the needs of the more affluent residents of Elmbridge. We wanted to find a way to enable our success to benefit a wider audience and we believe that we have found the ideal way to achieve this through participation in the Elmbridge Community Fund.”

Richard Waller, Chairman of ECF said: “We are delighted that PMW has chosen to support our objectives to improve the quality of local community life and we look forward to their enthusiastic participation in furthering the aims of the Elmbridge Community Fund. We would encourage others to support the Fund so more local communities and people in need can benefit.”

For more information about Partridge Muir and Warren and its services, please visit www.pmw.co.uk. If you would like to donate to the Elmbridge Community Fund or to find out more, please visit www.cfsurrey.org.uk/elmbridge

The Grange, Surrey’s leading charity providing services to people with learning disabilities

Catering group

The Grange in final push to complete Lifting Expectations Appeal to fund a major refurbishment



The Grange, Surrey’s leading charity providing services to people with learning disabilities, is seeking a final £145,000 to complete a major refurbishment.

Already it has raised £475,000 which will help create spaces for 25 new people, enabling them to learn essential skills for the workplace.
The project will deliver a larger IT suite, two extra rooms for skills training and activities, and a Heritage Room telling the story of The Grange, dating back to 1938 in Great Bookham. Then it was The School of Stitchery & Lace for young disabled girls whose work included embroidery for the Royal Family.

The refurb will involve levelling the upstairs floors and widening all corridors for the 15 wheelchair users. Also new will be a lift and automatic doors allowing people to move around more freely.

“This is a fantastic project,” says CEO Sally Lines OBE. “And, if we can get the last £145,000, it will make a huge difference as it will mean we can do the refurbishment in one go and more quickly and economically than if we had to stop and start again.

“The Lifting Expectations Appeal will create 96 new sessions every week, including growing and selling plants; catering for and serving in our two cafes; crafting wooden planters and bird boxes; doing every kind of art and craft activity, and mini experiences like fudge-making and book order fulfilment.

“It’s very sad – some would say a scandal – that people with learning disabilities have the highest rate of unemployment in the UK - over 90%. But we can change that by helping them to build self-esteem and skills and to find work experience or paid employment.”

For more information please visit www.grangecentre.org.uk


Born Free Foundation

16717--1bae373361aa558897c4dfa654353715

Early-bird ducklings have a lucky escape

With reports of daffodils in December and the warmest winter on record, it looks like spring has sprung much earlier than expected in 2016.

It’s not just the local flora that has been confused by the unseasonably warm conditions, as last week, eight tiny ducklings were picked up in Emsworth, Hampshire, having hatched some four months earlier than expected.

These adorable little ‘early birds’, thought to be just a few days old when found, were rescued from the roadside after their mother and three siblings were tragically struck by a car and killed. They were taken to Arthur Lodge Veterinary Surgery in Horsham, who contacted Tarnya Knight, a local wildlife carer, who works for the Born Free Foundation.

Tarnya will now look after the mini-mallards until the spring. She said: “Normally you wouldn’t see ducklings until around April, but due to the unusually warm weather this little brood has hatched early. Depending on how cold it is outside, I’ll keep them indoors for a few weeks and then they’ll be moved to a duck pen outside where they will stay until they are old enough to fend for themselves.”

The eight ducklings have affectionately been nicknamed: Mike, Carol, Alice, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy, after the nine members of the ‘Brady Bunch’ family.

Tarnya added: ”Despite their sad start to life, these little ones are actually very lucky to have been brought to safety. By the time spring arrives officially, they will be ready to be released back into the wild.”

For more information about the Born Free Foundation and its work with UK and international wildlife, visit: www.bornfree.org.uk

A Cinderella Story

Cinderella in December 2012 courtesy Phoenix Fund

Surrey Supporters Part of Conservation First

Supporters of Shalford-based wildlife charity, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, have played a key part in a conservation first by helping to fund the rescue, rehabilitation and release of a rare Amur (also known as Siberian) tiger that has now become a mother.


Orphaned in 2012, the then 5-month old tigress named Zolushka (Russian for Cinderella) was found malnourished and with severe frostbite. Her chances of survival looked slim.

“With as few as 450 Amur tigers left in the wild every tiger is vital to the continuation of this sub-species, the largest of all the big cats. And, although Zolushka’s chances of survival looked slim there was no way we were going to stand by and watch her die,” says Vicky Flynn who manages the charity’s TigerTime campaign.

Donations to support the tigers care came from across the world, through the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and a host of international NGOs. Gradually Zolushka gained strength; she was moved to a facility where she could be away from human contact and was taught vital hunting skills. By the spring of 2013 it was decided that she was ready for release back into the wild.

“This was a huge decision to make, the tiger has to be strong, able to hunt and retain a wariness of humans for releases back to the wild to work,” adds Vicky Flynn.

Zolushka was fitted with a satellite and radio collar and tracked by rangers and motion-sensing remote cameras and quickly began hunting badgers, wild boar and red deer. In January 2014, the camera’s also showed she had an admirer – a male Amur tiger.

“There aren’t many good news stories when you work to save wild tigers and when the latest news came through this week that Zolushka was the mother of two cubs we were ecstatic! All the hard work, all the cooperation and the funding had proved that wild tigers can successfully be re-introduced. For tiger lovers, it is one of the best Christmas presents we could imagine!”

It is believed to be the first time a released tiger has gone on to become a mother and raises hope for the survival of Amur tigers.

But Cinderella’s story doesn’t end here. She now has to protect and provide for her cubs through the sub-zero temperatures of a Russian winter.

“We have everything crossed for Zolushka. Now, more than ever, funding for our anti-poaching and park protection patrols in the Russian Far East are vital. They will protect not just Zolushka but other rare Amur tigers too,” adds Vicky.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation has a long history of supporting Amur tigers and was part of an international coalition that worked to bring the species back from the brink of extinction in the 1990s when numbers crashed to around 100. Today, they continue to fund key tiger conservation projects in Russia, India and Thailand to protect wild tigers.

You can find out more and donate at www.davidshepherd.org or www.tigertime.info

Wild Wonders

Waste into happiness

Children’s Global Canvas Art & Poetry Competition 2016 now open for entries – come together to celebrate the wild wonders of our amazing world! AND meet award-winning children’s illustrator and author, Catherine Rayner at the Natural History Museum

Shalford based charity, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s 2016 Global Canvas Art & Poetry competition is now open for entries. This exciting annual event, which attracted involvement from over 2,000 children in 2015, is open to children of all ages up to and including 16 year-olds and gives young people the chance to come together to express their concern for the environment through art and poetry.

“The theme for 2016 is ‘Wild Wonders’ and we are inviting groups of children from around the world to think about the wonder of the wildlife and wild places that we share our planet with and to celebrate the biodiversity and importance of wildlife,” explains competition manager, Jo Elphick.

Entry closes 29 January 2016 when wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd, CBE, and award-winning children’s illustrator and author Catherine Rayner, will be among the judges selecting the shortlist to be displayed at the Natural History Museum, London, on Thursday 17 March.

“The sheer imagination and passion displayed when young people come together never ceases to amaze me. That children care so much about our wild world gives me real hope for the future of this beautiful planet that we call home,” says wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd.

David will be joined by Catherine Rayner, author and illustrator of Augustus and His Smile, at the Natural History Museum on March 17 when the overall winners will be chosen from the shortlisted exhibitors. As guest speaker, Catherine Rayner will also engage the children in the story of her life as an illustrator and author.

In 2015, television presenter Michaela Strachan attended the exhibition and prize-giving and was amazed by the variety and talent shown by the children involved.

“Clubs, classes and even whole schools had worked together; researching, designing, writing and painting to produce fantastic mini-exhibitions which demonstrate the issues our world faces,” said Michaela. “I was simply astounded by the talent on show.”

You can find out more about the competition, see a selection of the fabulous work from the 2015 competition and download entry forms by visiting the website at here >>> LINK

Event at St George's Tennis Club

The Silverlining Charity Winter Ball 2015 A4 Poster

Supporting People Affected By Brain Injury Through The Silverlining Charity.

The charity are hosting a large fundraising Winter themed ball at St George’s Hill Tennis Club in Weybridge on Saturday the 21 November in order to raise much needed funds for The Silverlining Charity.

More than one million people in the UK are living with the effects of brain injury, many of whom have very little support after leaving rehabilitation.

Anyone is susceptible to injury through external or internal trauma and their effects are felt not only by individuals, but also by family, friends, colleagues and professionals.

The Silverlining Charity hope to change the lives of all those affected by brain injury (Silverliners) for the better. We are a small Charity supporting Silverliners in a handful of regions to build social support networks, find their own direction and develop purpose and meaning after brain injury.

The Charity operate without government support so we rely heavily on donations and fundraising from socially responsible individuals and companies to keep our valuable services running.

All monies raised from our fundraising is used to directly support our continued service provision assisting people with brain injury.

If you would like any more information about the event or Charity please visit www.thesilverlining.org.uk

Festive Family Fun with Santa

Santa Fun Run

Bring the whole family along to jog, run or walk this year’s Santa Fun Runs to raise sponsorship money for Princess Alice Hospice.

Fast becoming a fun, festive, family tradition; donning a Santa suit, complete with a big white beard, is guaranteed to make you feel all Christmassy and in the seasonal spirit of giving you’ll be raising money for a fantastic cause.

The first of the Santa Fun Runs will be at Bushy Park on Sunday 29 November at 10.30am. A further two runs will be taking place at Richmond Park on Sunday 13th December at 10.30am and 12.30pm. In previous years Santas have ranged from as young as 10 weeks old in a baby carrier to those in their eighties. The event is now in its eighth year and the target is to smash last year’s total of £44,000 which will be used to care for patients and their families during the Festive Season; both in the Hospice and in their own homes.

The first Santa to cross the line at Bushy Park last year was Cameron Gibson, 15, from Horsley. Cameron said: “I did the run last year but I was a lot faster this time. It was really weird being chased by all those Santas.

“I registered for the event because I appreciate the work the Hospice carers do and I wanted to do my bit to support them.”

Cameron was shortly followed at the finish by his younger brother Joseph Gibson, 11, who was the first under 12 to complete the run.

The first Santa to cross last year’s finish line at Richmond Park was Nick McKay, 36, from Wimbledon who successfully defended his title, winning for the third year in a row. He was running the event in memory of his sister-in-law, Jo Crossfield, who was cared for by the Hospice in 2010.

Nick said: ““The run has become an annual festive family event for us and my young son was also able to take part too from the comfort of his buggy.”

Mia Patterson from the Hospice’s Fundraising Team said: “Taking part in our Santa Fun Runs to raise money for the Hospice has become a tradition now in many households, with families raising huge amounts of money for us.

“They are lots of fun and it really is an incredible sight to see hundreds of Santas running across the Royal Parks.

““Places are limited, so it’s best to register as soon as possible. The cost to enter for over 12’s is £12 and for this you’ll receive a Santa Suit. For the under 12’s it’s £6 and they will receive Reindeer Antlers.”

For further details and to enter please contact the Princess Alice Hospice Fundraising Team on 01372 461808 supportercare@pah.org.uk Website www.pah.org.uk

Princess Alice Hospice cares for terminally ill adults across a large part of Surrey, south west London and Middlesex, caring for them in their own homes and at its hospice in Esher. More than 1 million people live within its care area

Over £9.1 million is needed each year to provide these vital and much needed services. With limited NHS funding more than 75% of funding must be raised through voluntary donations and fundraising.

Unique Artworks from Boris Johnson MP and others to be auctioned for charity

Boris Johnson MP, Mayor of London

Unique Artworks

The Watts Contemporary Gallery at the Artists' Village in Compton, Surrey will host a very special Love and Life exhibition until October 17 and CharityStars will be supporting the exhibition with an online auction.

Among the works of art on show are pieces from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP and many more. Artworks have been donated and created by a wide variety of artists and celebrities including Sir Peter Blake, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Joanna Lumley OBE, Felicity Kendal CBE and many others. The artworks will then be auctioned for charity on October 17, but bids can be placed ahead of this date at http://www.charitystars.com/.

The auction is being supported by a variety of Royal Academicians and other leading artists. Artist to the stars Sherree Valentine Daines will also contribute a piece of art to the auction. The work will be inspired by the Artists¹ Village and once complete, it will be entered into the Love and Life auction.

Money raised will go to the Watts Gallery Trust and Transplant Links Community (TLC). TLC is a UK registered charity that saves the lives of children and adults in the developing world who suffer from fatal kidney disease. Established by a group of British doctors, they offer teaching and advice, as well as carry out living kidney transplants, and help local medical teams in a variety of countries.
Peter Blake
A selection of the art that will be auctioned:
Arlene Phillips CBE: Drawing, Love & Life Boris Johnson MP: Drawing, Toot Toot! John and Kate Siebert: Artists’ proof, Illustration for Louis Aragon’s work “One who says things without saying anything”, by Marc Chagall, artist John and Kate Siebert: Limited edition lithograph, L’inspire, by Marc Chagall, artist The Belgravia Gallery: Lithograph, Girl on Gold, by Charles Mackesey, artist Sir Peter Blake: Carpet design, Carpet square from the Supreme Court Vanessa Raw, triathlete: Painting, New Dawn Dame Zaha Hadid, architect: Metal etching, Middle East Centre, St Antony¹s College Oxford

Perdita Hunt Director of Watts Gallery ­ Artists’ Village said: “G F Watts supported over 38 charitable causes and was a real philanthropist. It is exciting that Watts Gallery Trust is partnering with TLC, which saves lives through transplants, to mount an exhibition of generously donated works and to auction these in support of art for all and saving lives. We are delighted that the founder of TLC, has been one of the most successful artists-in-residence at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village.”
Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS
Dr Jennie Jewitt Harris, Chief Executive of TLC and current Artist-in-Residence at Watts said: “This is an exciting venture which combines the love of art with the chance to save lives. Funds raised will support our medical work in Zambia, Ghana, Trinidad and Jamaica; where there is a desperate need to help people with kidney failure. The artworks donated are so varied and we’ve been bowled over by the kind contributions, of artists and celebrities.”

Peter Monkman, artist and donor of a work said: “It was a real privilege to be invited to contribute to the Transplant Links and Watts charity auction, knowing the power of the visual arts in the context of the Watts Gallery ­ Artists’ Village to enlighten and improve the quality of life. I produced a painting especially where the child reaching up represents a sense of transformation, hope and reaching out.”

Online bidding please visit: www.charitystars.com The auctions close on Saturday October 17 2015.

Visit Watts Gallery website here LINK

Dr Brian May leads the plea for wildlife at Surrey-based charity fundraiser

Kerry Ellis and Dr Brian May 2

It was a sparkling night for wildlife at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s annual Wildlife Ball

Hosted by The Dorchester in London on Friday October 9th, 300 guests mingled with celebrities to help raise over £150,000 for endangered wildlife. A stunning set from legendary Queen guitarist, Dr Brian May and singer Kerry Ellis - which included the premier of Brian’s launch video for Cecil’s Law and an acoustic version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love - was followed on the big screen by a heartfelt appeal from former Spice Girl, Melanie C, for everyone to play their part to help save wildlife.
CEO Sally Case
“It was an incredible night for wildlife,” says CEO Sally Case. “The depth of support that we, as a small charity, generate illustrates just how important wildlife is to so many people and to the sustainable future of our planet and all of us, where ever we live.”

Calling for supporters to be part of the generation that cares, David Shepherd’s granddaughters – the artist Emily Lamb and the Foundation’s event manager, Georgina Lamb - echoed the call for the younger generation to take up the baton to protect precious wildlife and wild spaces.
Sue Smith  - David's PA - with David and Avril Shepherd
Adding additional excitement to the evening were Mark King from Level 42 (who sang happy birthday to a guest raising £1,000), TV presenter and auctioneer Charlie Ross who helped command almost £60,000 in the live auction of artwork donated by the Shepherd family, British designer and supporter Elizabeth Emanuel, TV presenter Kate Silverton and Olympic gold medal winning rower Alex Gregory.

About the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF)
DSWF is a small, effective charity funding key conservation projects in Africa and Asia working in partnership with local communities to find long-term, sustainable solutions to help save endangered mammals in the wild. Founded by wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd CBE in 1984, the Foundation’s art heritage plays a key role in fundraising to support key species such as elephants, rhino, tigers, snow leopards and painted dogs. In 2011, DSWF launched TigerTime to help raise awareness and funds for wild tigers. TigerTime has a social media reach of over 650,000 on Facebook and 33,000 on Twitter and with celebrity supporters including Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry and reach over 20 million with one tweet.

DSWF is based in Shalford, Surrey. For more information see: www.davidshepherd.org and www.tigertime.info

All images by
CPG Photography

Paul O’Grady on why he’s supporting the elephant orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia

Paul OGrady with Nkala courtesy Jill Worsley
I left my heart in Lusaka at the elephant orphanage. I was lucky enough to film there two years ago and I spent nearly ten days with the elephants there and in particular a baby elephant called Nkala. His mother had been murdered by poachers and he was a very timid little chap, he kept well away from all the other elephants – he was scared of them – he wouldn’t even go in the mud. He kept himself to himself and a sort of little bond grew between us and when something like that happens it’s magical because it’s a once in a lifetime experience. It is something I will never, ever, ever forget.

I got quite involved in the place, and to tell you the truth at the end of the shoot I announced to the crew, I’m not coming home…and they said you’ve got to, you’ve got six weeks of chat shows to do … and I said anybody can do that, but this is a special job, this is something truly special. And I’ll be honest with you, it took quite a lot of persuasion to get me away from the elephants and get me on to the plane home.
But I have never, ever forgotten them and I went back last year and my boy, that’s Nkala, has grown into a big healthy, hearty, jolly elephant and he joins in all the fun. When he first saw me again after a year I thought he must have forgotten me but he hadn’t … He was like a small child at a party, he was embarrassed and hid behind the other elephants and was quite coquettish, he’d peep out to look at me. Eventually, after about half an hour, he came squeaking over and we were pals again. And again I thought; this doesn’t get any better.
Paul OGrady in teh BBC R4 studio
The work they do at the orphanage is remarkable, the bond between the keeper and the elephant is truly extraordinary and we have to help, because in ten years’ time there won’t be any wild elephants left, they’ll all be gone, along with the rhino and that’s shocking. Absolutely shocking. So we have to do everything in our power to help these creatures and to help the people who look after them.
I’m writing a children’s book about a baby elephant and a little boy – I’m going to try and do it at the end of this year – be out next year – and all the royalties will go to the orphanage. So let’s all do our bit and save the elephant.

Since 2011 an average of 20,000 African elephants have been slaughtered each year – their tusks hacked off and shipped abroad to be carved into trinkets and decorative ornaments. In the wake of this continuing illegal trade, orphaned elephants are being rescued across Africa and cared for in orphanages where resources are stretched. The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) set up Zambia’s first elephant orphanage and now supports its ongoing work to rescue, rehabilitate and release these precious animals back into the wild. At the time DSWF funds community outreach and education programmes to understand the importance of elephants to their environment and also funds anti-poaching patrols in Kafue National Park to ensure a safe habitat for all elephants.

For more information visit www.davidshepherd.org

Lonely monkey finds his Val-entine

Fausto-the-baby-woolly-monkey-cared-for-by-ADI-at-the-Spirit-of-Freedom-compound
An embrace with Valerie ends a lifetime of loneliness for rescued Pepe

Lima, Peru: The tale of Pepe, a spider monkey rescued from a circus in world-famous holiday destination Cusco, by London-based Animal Defenders International (ADI) has gripped animal lovers around the world.

The intelligent, playful monkey had been kept alone and chained by the neck for eight years. The circus had snapped off Pepe’s canine teeth so that he could not defend himself, and the world’s leading veterinary dentist had to be flown in to repair the damage. Now, in the most moving chapter of his story so far, Pepe has finally been reunited with his own kind.

ADI has been assisting the Peruvian authorities to enforce their ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, as well as with the relocation of animals seized from the illegal pet trade – a mission called Operation Spirit of Freedom. In January, the ADI rescue centre outside Lima received Valerie, a young, illegally-trafficked spider monkey who was being used for entertainment in a restaurant.

For Valentine’s Day, ADI has released the heart-warming images of Pepe meeting Valerie for the first time, and their joy as they begin to play and chatter to each other:


ADI President Jan Creamer said “Pepe is a gentle soul with a big heart and we are absolutely thrilled to see him and Valerie together knowing they both spent so many years alone – it was a very emotional moment. Pepe has been incredibly affectionate with all of us, but we knew that what he really needed was someone of his own kind to love.”

“We urgently need funds for the habitats in the Amazon to make the forever homes for Pepe, Valerie and the other monkeys we have rescued. They deserve their own happily-ever-after. Just £6 will help give Pepe and Valerie the perfect happy ending.”

ADI has a temporary rescue centre just outside Lima, with a full time veterinary team acting as a hub for Operation Spirit of Freedom in Peru. ADI is caring for 21 lions and over 20 other native wild animals there – mainly monkeys. ADI will be relocating all of the animals to permanent homes in the next two months including flying the 21 lions plus 9 other lions from Colombia, to a sanctuary in Colorado, USA.
1-Jan-&-Pepe-the-spider-monkey-rescued-from-the-circus,-Operation-Spirit-of-Freedom-rescue-center,-Peru
As part of the rehabilitation programme, ADI experts assess the individual animals and form family groups so they can be rehomed together. Prior to their emotional union, Pepe and Valerie had reached out to each other and held hands through the bars of their neighbouring enclosures. Then under the watchful eyes of the ADI team, the two monkeys were allowed to meet.

All of the native wildlife rescued during ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom, including Pepe and Valerie, will be relocated to sanctuaries in Peru’s Amazon forests but ADI must first construct the jungle habitats that will be their homes.

Jan Creamer, “The current care, relocation and habitat construction costs for this important rescue operation are enormous, but we hope that if Pepe and Valerie’s story touches people’s hearts this Valentine’s Day they will help put right the wrong done to these animals at the hands of people.”

Please donate to help ADI build Pepe and Valerie a new home in the Amazon here >>> LINK (UK)

Find out more about ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom here >>> LINK