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Brent Lodge Big Build - Building a better future for wildlife and communities alike

Fund applied for: £5,000

Location: West Sussex

1299 votes so far

Project description

Describe your project
BRENT LODGE BIG BUILD will enable us to move towards reaching our vision of becoming a wildlife hospital fit for the 21st century, with comprehensive on-site veterinary and rehabilitation facilities providing more volunteer and community opportunities. Some of our current facilities were built over 50 years ago and are no longer fit for use, so now they are in need of replacement to be able to accommodate more patients. The project will be undertaken in 5 stages, including 12 new bird of prey aviaries, 5 new water pool enclosures, a mammal rehabilitation enclosure, a reception and quarantine area. With nearly 2 Stages of our plan complete, we have 3 more to complete to help improve our facilities. With the number of patients, we treat is increasing each year we need all the support we can get from the community to build a better future for wildlife.

How will your project benefit your local community?
With better facilities, we will be able to continue to provide the very best treatment for our patients with improved rehabilitation facilities. However, as our work is funded by voluntary donations putting extra demand on resources it makes it difficult for us to invest in our volunteer support. So not only will be able to provide better care to wildlife, but our work offers a variety of volunteering opportunities, work experience and community pay-back. We offer a variety of volunteering opportunities to assist with our work such as individuals who work with our wildlife patients, being around wildlife and animals brings its own therapy to our community volunteers. Working to support these vulnerable animals makes our volunteers contribution even more rewarding creating empowerment for our volunteers, especially if they face adversity themselves. Our community payback schemes, working with ex-offenders undertaking community service with us, helps people to achieve new and different skills, helping to integrate people back into the community. We work closely with our volunteers so that we can grow self-belief, provide a meeting place for more members of the community being a catalyst for further community bonding and an essential part of our success.

Please give details of any support you have from your local community
Our volunteers help in all aspects of the charity from animal care to project work. Currently, our organisation is 75% supported by volunteers, so we consider ourselves at the heart of our community. We received planning permission through our local council committee for the structure of the new hospital. We currently host community payback schemes where ex-offenders can undertake community service completing anything from 10 to 300 hours of Community Payback. They help with projects such as these, they helped with 2 stages of our Big Build project, we also receive support from local companies seeking volunteering days with us.

How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
We are currently supporting about 100 volunteers and over 50 work experience students including the thousands of supporters we reach through our outreach work relaying the message of our work. With increased facilities, we will be able to offer more work experience and career building opportunities through the uniqueness of our work.

Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
With funding, we hope to be able to have support to construct more wildlife facilities in particular Stage 3 of our project to construct new mammal enclosures. Volunteers have helped in the past with similar projects with volunteer support with this project we hope this keep our labour costs low. Majority of the build will be carried out by skilled labourers however the finishing touches will be completed by volunteers managed by in-house staff. This includes constructing & install roofing, applying a protective coating to timber, cladding framework with wire mesh, etc. this part of the project is estimated to cost £5,000 in both volunteer management and materials.

When and why was your project founded?
BRENT LODGE was founded nearly 50 years. The BIG BUILD Capital Appeal started in 2015 with Phase 1 completing the construction of important structures. In 2017 we continued Phase 2 which will be undertaken in 5 stages, then with the final completion of Phase 3 seeing us into 2021

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