Please can you help us as this is an opportunity that we cannot miss!
Julia & Valentine
Through this crowdfunding campaign we want to secure the charity’s future and purchase a piece of land to give the sanctuary a permanent home.
A place where we can develop facilities such as, an educational centre for children with special educational need. These pupils will not only be able to interact with the sheep but learn about the care and welfare of the animals, which could potentially lead to a certificate of achievement.
Currently, we are having to rent land to house the rescued animals, so not only are we using vital funds but also wasting volunteer time travelling to all six locations every day. This valuable time could be better spent on allowing more visits from both the local community and children with special education needs.
To allow us to develop as a charity and to benefit more people of all age groups we need a central location where all sheep can reside and facilities can be developed on a permanent basis.
Emma & Grace Chilling in the Field
A Bit About The Charity and The Three Fold Benefits that SHEEP AHOY Brings to Everyone from the Local Community to Local Schools
When Sheep Ahoy first opened its gates, its primary purpose was to be a rescue charity providing a safe haven for those unfortunate animals who had been suffering neglect and cruelty or who had been brought to us because they were injured or ill. Julia Wilmshurst, joint founder with her daughter Emma, would be the first to tell you that initially, giving the sheep a home where they were ‘Safe for Life’ was her sole passion.
It was only as the flock started to build and Julia spent more and more time tending to their welfare that she came to realise that when she was in the company of these gentle souls that she found a peace of her own. Julia herself suffers from anxiety and often you will find her just sat quietly with a sheep resting their head on her lap in mutual affection and peace.
The flock went in a few short years from three sheep to nearly sixty residing over six locations.
Fundraising to support them became a priority.
Through the fundraising events the local community has taken the charity to its heart and with that, the list of volunteers is growing monthly.
It was only in discussion with the volunteers that over time and as trust grew, that Julia realised many of them had gravitated towards Sheep Ahoy because of anxiety issues of their own and we started to make the connection that in caring for the sheep, the volunteers reaped an unexpected benefit of their own.
Whilst they came initially to support the charity, they had been drawn in by the sense of tranquility they found, that in being with the sheep and following the care routines and developing relationships with the animals they found purpose, mutual affection and an unexpected form of healing.
A couple of our volunteers that work with young people with special educational needs, suggested that Sheep Ahoy could help these pupils and especially those that had high anxiety issues.
Sheep Ahoy started to reach out to the local schools and we now have regular students coming, accompanied by staff members, to interact with the sheep or to just be in a relaxed outdoor environment.
Some of the young people really engage with the sheep, some just feed them biscuits and the carers are happy with that as a positive experience is a good one.
We are now making plans to develop this outreach and to bring those benefits to more young people.
The rewards are wonderful when we see a young child hug a sheep gently and the delight on a person's face when a sheep gives them their trust and affection for the first time.
In short, we have threefold benefits. By rescuing and caring for the sheep, we give opportunities for not just our volunteers but the whole community to experience the rewards of our love and care for these beautiful animals and in return they give us so much more.
Sheep Ahoy is run by a wonderful team of volunteers who greatly enjoy helping out and caring for the sheep at the charity. NO money is spent on wages, we all do this for the love of the animals.