Jeff the sheep says thankyou to schoolchildren for rescue centre donation

PLEASED TO MEET YOU -- Jeff the sheep, with Jon and Bethan from the animal rescue centre, meet pupils of Lynncroft Primary School.

PLEASED TO MEET YOU -- Jeff the sheep, with Jon and Bethan from the animal rescue centre, meet pupils of Lynncroft Primary School.

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Stranded or injured pets and wild animals can rest more easily thanks to the caring generosity of youngsters at a school in Eastwood.

For children at Lynncroft Primary have handed over a valuable donation to Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre as part of a special project. And they received a visit from Jeff the sheep, one of the centre’s resident ‘mascots’, to say thankyou!

Called ‘Protecting Animals’, the project was taken on by ten-and-11-year-olds in year six of the Garden Road school. It entailed a discussion on animal testing, which led to the youngsters deciding they wanted to raise some money to help animals. They then held a debate to determine which charity or organisation should receive their cash.

They raised a total of £110 from a shop that they set up during break times at the school, selling cakes to fellow pupils, and they plumped for the animal rescue centre as the beneficiary.

“I knew nothing about it until we started to receive some very nice letters from the youngsters at the school,” said Jon Beresford, who founded the centre with his partner Bethan Hewis in 2007.

“We were very pleasantly surprised. For primary schoolchildren to raise as much as £110 is fantastic.”

To give their thanks in person, Jon and Bethan visited the school to receive the money and to tell the children all about the centre. They also took along Jeff the sheep and a hedgehog who had been treated by the centre and was ready to be returned to the wild.

“It’s very unusual to have a sheep that is so friendly,” added Jon. “The kids absolutely loved him.”

The centre is spread over 22 acres on land off Hobsic Close. Run entirely by volunteers, many of whom also have day jobs, it relies solely on donations to find the £50,000 per year it needs to pay the bills and survive.

The centre rescues more than 1,000 pets and wild animals every year. It aims to find new homes for them, release them back into the wild or provide permanent sanctuary. At any one time, the centre has 200 animals on site.

Jon and Bethan share a passion for animals, and soon after first meeting in 2001, almost every room in their house in West Bridgford had a rescued rabbit, wild bird or hedgehog in it! So dedicated to the centre have they been that they will soon be enjoying their first major holiday for 12 years.

To get a glimpse of the sterling work carried out by the centre, you can go along to a Christmas open day it is holding on Sunday, December 6 (11 am to 4 pm). Admission is just £1 for adults and free for children.