Restart and Recovery Fund to the rescue

A dedicated wildlife rescue team in Somerset is looking forward to a brighter New Year thanks to a grant from Somerset County Council.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue, based in Highbridge, was one of the successful bidders to a share of the Council’s £500,000 Somerset Business Restart and Recovery Programme launched in late summer 2021.

The Fund supports strategically significant Somerset businesses badly affected by Covid-19 and successive lockdowns.

These could be organisations that often did not fit neatly into Government Covid support programmes such as multi-purpose venues, heritage attractions, and food/craft events showcasing local produce that attract local people as well as visitors.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue managed to remain open to sick, injured and orphaned wildlife during the pandemic, admitting thousands of creatures and helping many more thanks to an advice line for those unable to bring animals to the rescue centre.

But its fundraising was hit by Covid restrictions, particularly the popular open weekends that help to provide income for the charity.

So, the £13,310 awarded from the Council’s Fund is especially welcome. Councillor David Hall, Cabinet member for the economy, planning and community infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to support Secret World Wildlife Rescue during these very difficult times. It plays an important part in the area’s appeal as a destination for visitors.   The fund is playing an important part in helping Somerset’s hard-hit businesses and attractions survive the impact of the pandemic.”

Fundraising Officer David Plant said: “We are so grateful. During these uncertain times it is reassuring to know we have this support, and we hope 2022 will be a brighter, more successful year because of this.”

Secret World Wildlife Rescue, an animal welfare charity, uses its work with animals to educate the public on how they can help and support wildlife.  Along with its vital animal welfare work the Centre holds public open weekends and events attracting locals and visitors to the area and providing wider benefits to the local community’.

The grant scheme was part of a wider package of funding to support Somerset’s economy to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  A second round of the Somerset Business Restart and Recovery Programme is due to be launched in 2022 to support those businesses/organisations that missed out or are still experiencing difficulty.