I have created this web site in order to share with you the work I do with the animals.

The animal sanctuary is quite different from other sanctuary's such as Redwings or Mistley park in that this is not what I do for a living. This is my home & I do not have any staff, facilities or the insurance necessary to be open to the public.

Not including vets bills or maintenance, it costs over £5200 per month - every month to feed the animals at the Sanctuary. All of this has to be funded by my partners salary (who works for a Bank), my salary as a retained Fire-Fighter, my Mum &  I have a loyal membership of 220 who sponsor animals here & this accounts for around 60% of the feed costs. (as at July 2009)

Quite a lot of people contact me and ask to come & look round. This might seem like a harmless request, but looking after over 400 animals on your own can only be achieved by starting before dawn each morning, & working solidly till 8:00 in the evening. Yes, I can usually get a few hours to myself during the day & I use this time to train for marathons, running approximately 15-20 miles 5 times a week (75-100 miles a week).  I do this to raise awareness for animal welfare & to demonstrate that a Vegan is not a weakling. I am a sub 3 hour marathon runner (PB 2h 38m) with a resting pulse of 27.

Whilst doing this I am also "on the run" for the fire service most of the time (apart from when training) & if my alerter should sound, I have to get to the fire station within 5 minutes. (4 miles) This can be incredibly inconvenient as you can imagine, but I need the money for the animals & it's a job that I can do - or be ready to do- whilst seeing to the animals - there aren't many jobs like that!

So what I am trying to say is that whilst it might sound silly to say I cannot spare the time to show people around, it really is the truth. I have not had a holiday is over 13 years - unless you count traveling to Moscow or Berlin for 2 days to compete in the marathon !)  & the work here is the same every single day, Christmas day, the lot

The work is particularly tough in the winter months as with 15 stables to muck out twice a day by hand & barrow down to an ever growing muck heap by myself is no joke. If you have ever had a go a mucking out a cowshed you will know how incredibly heavy work this can be. But it's not just outside, I have old & blind cats indoors & literally every time I walk back in the house, someone will have almost, but not quite made it to the cat litter -  well lets just say I get through a lot of carpet cleaner & bleach...

So you might think why do I do it? I do it because its the right thing to do. There are countless animals desperate for love & attention, and everywhere around there is appalling cruelty going on to animals & people too.

I was horrified by the conditions of the pensioners who care for street dogs & cats I met in Moscow & I vowed to help them when I returned to the UK from my first Marathon trip & every month I have helped them with the costs of feeding their animals & themselves.  (In addition to the £5200 per month mentioned above).

People often criticise me for helping Moscow pensioners & say things like what about the UK pensioners? It's comments like this that really make me despair. At the end of the day there is only one race, the human race & it doesn't matter who you help as long as you are helping somebody. For me, that is the only reason we are on this planet, to help one another.

Well, I've had my rant ! - I sincerely hope you understand where I am coming from & if you believe in the work I do, please help me by sponsoring an animal, it doesn't have to be a lot on an individual basis, but every penny counts. I repeat here what I say elsewhere on the site, I don't take any salary out of any donations - I don't think this is right, although I know it's how most charities work. 100% of any donation will go directly to help the animals by buying food for them.

Please do look round the web site, it is quite big & I try & keep it as up to date as possible. The latest news page is usually updated at lesast once a week so you can follow the events at the Sanctuary


Fiona Oakes
Just back from a 18 mile training run, but no rest for me !!  It's feeding time - again !!!
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