East Suffolk: Good response to appeal to save RSPCA animal centre

THOUSANDS of pounds have been donated to Suffolk’s only RSPCA animal rescue centre since the EADT revealed it was facing a funding crisis that threatened its future.

The centre, at Martlesham, costs �1,000 a day to run but its current operations only bring in half that amount.

Committee members of the Suffolk East and Ipswich branch launched an urgent appeal a month ago to raise money for the centre, which has rehomed thousands of sick, mistreated and injured animals over the past 40 years.

They said the centre would run out of money if the situation did not improve and they would have to make cutbacks. There are always more than 100 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits and birds, at the centre at any time, waiting for a new home.

Since its plight was revealed, people have come forward to donate money, offering sponsorship and holding fundraising events. There has been nearly �5,000 in cash donations alone.

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Jean Short, honorary chairman of the branch, said: “We have been very pleased with the response – everybody has been so kind and generous and we are very grateful for all donations.

“We have had a lot of people coming forward and even piggy banks emptied on our front desk.

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“Some of our existing donors have upped their contributions and supporters have been arranging fundraising events.”

Mrs Short said there had been a good response to the “donate online” option on the centre’s website and to the Safe Haven scheme, for which donors give a set amount every month.

“The money does need to keep coming in,” said Mrs Short. “We have already had to make cutbacks and it’s too early to say whether we have to make any more. We are reviewing it all the time.”

Fundraising events have already been taking place – a recent fashion show by Change-of-Address in Trimley St Mary brought in �700 and a quiz night in Bredfield raised �500.

The animal centre is licensed and regulated by the RSPCA, but only receives minimal financial support from the national body and is almost entirely self-funding.

In 2008-9, the charity had a shortfall of �15,000 – but that funding gap widened to �60,000 in 2009-10.

The branch also runs a clinic in St George’s Street, in Ipswich and has two charity shops in Ipswich and Felixstowe. For ways to donate or sponsorship enquiries, contact Kate Grimwood, branch administrator, on 01449 614057 or 07745 771129 or e-mail on katebranchadmin@talktalk.net

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