Keighley wildlife sanctuary under the spotlight

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Marianne Crowley Marianne Crowley

A wildlife charity put under the spotlight because it only spent seven per cent of its apparent income on helping animals has held urgent talks with fundraisers aimed at improving its results.

Accounts for Wildlife Rescue Sanctuaries, based in Keighley, show it spent more than £220,000 of its income of £257,000 in 2012 on generating funds – which prompted concerns from the Charity Commission.

The figures were explained by the way WRS had employed professional fundraisers to rattle tins on its behalf – fundraisers who then took a large percentage of monies raised by way of fees and costs.

And yesterday WRS founder and trustee Marianne Crowley explained how they were taking steps to reshape its funding.

“Lots of small animal charities across Britain are in the same situation and we’ve had lots of calls of support since the story came out,” Mrs Crowley said.

“We had a meeting with our fundraisers on Tuesday afternoon to discuss how we need to get more of a share of whatever is raised in our name.

“And we will now be consulting with the Charity Commission to get their advice on any new contract.

“The fact is we do need this sort of help with raising money, as well as what we can do ourselves.”

Mrs Crowley said that the Wildlife Rescue Sanctuaries shop in Shipley town centre was an independent fund-raiser and every pound spent there went to help sick, injured or distressed animals. “We don’t employ anyone at the shop, it’s all voluntary,” she said.

Mrs Crowley’s daughter Sharon is also a trustee of the charity and said they planned to get back to basics at its unit at Springfield Mills.

“Now we’ve got the unit we can get more volunteers in to help with the animals and therefore have more time to spend on independent fundraising,” she said. “We will start going out to schools again, setting up eBay sales, offering pet portraits and doing other local events,” Miss Crowley said.

Meanwhile WRS has just rescued 40 white doves from an address in Laycock.

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