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Auction raises grand amount for Willows

By Kirsty Brown

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Volunteer fundraisers are having one last push to raise money for a north-east animal charity.

When Willows Animal Sanctuary, situated near New Pitsligo, announced their fears that they may be forced to close permanently as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, friends Hannah Darnell and Laura Appleton decided to step in and do their bit to save the facility which cares for more than 450 animals.

Utilising social media the pair held an online auction, with items donated by a number of famous faces - including Stephen Fry, Micheala Strachan, Emma Thompson, Sam Heughan, Lorraine McIntosh and Ricky Ross - and businesses.

The initial auction has brought in more than £4600 for the charity, but now a number of small and local businesses have stepped in with donations to try and bring the total over the £5000 mark.

In addition to donations from Mallownuts, Vegan Bay Bakery, Kaerlig Beauty, Above The Flame, The Hemp Connection and Cakes By Shannon the event has also secured an Aberdeen Football Club Shirt from the 2019/20 season which has been signed by none other than AFC legend Willie Miller.

Similar to the first batch of auctioned items, these newly added donations will be auctioned off through the Help Save Willows Auction's Facebook page from Wednesday evening (May 20)

Speaking on their decision to organise the auction for Willows, Hanna said: "Losing Willows would be a tremendous loss to the community, and Laura and I would never forgive ourselves if we didn’t fight to keep the charity going by raising much needed funds.”

Animal lovers have rallied round to save Willows from closure.
Animal lovers have rallied round to save Willows from closure.

They haven't been the only people spurred on to help their beloved sanctuary, however, with a number of other fundraisers organised by volunteers.

Hand Drawn Gifts' Amy Millar is raffling off her painting Sunshiney Bray, and for more information or to get involved you can visit her Facebook page or her Justgiving page - so far she has raised over £300.

Volunteer Lucia has been making and selling masks, and has so far raised £800.

On Saturday, May 23, at 10.30am Jo Jingles Peterhead will be holding a fundraising music and movement session, and for more information you can visit their Facebook page or their Justgiving page.

Willows are also in the process of setting up an online charity shop to compensate for their onsite shop being closed, and have reached out for volunteers who would be willing to assist with this in a variety of ways.

Anybody interested in finding out more can visit the Willows Animal Sanctuary Facebook page or their website: www.willowsanimals.com.

The charity has also expressed their gratitude for all donations made by individuals and groups during this difficult time.

Monetary donations for Willows can be made online at: www.justgiving.com/willowsanimals.

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