Although S.O.S. fundraising is an ongoing concern and generous donations from the public are gratefully received throughout the year, there are occasions when assistance is required to address specific issues.
Most recently, the expansion of our raptor hospital facilities necessitated an increase in stocks of hospital resources. Proper protocols, of course are adhered to for the sourcing of medical supplies, however periphery items can often be acquired through recycling and donation.
This was the case when stocks of hospital towels needed replenishing.
Towels are essential items within the hospital - they are used to dry birds which have arrived at the hospital saturated and cold and also those which have needed bathing for urgent relief from dirty, oily or sooty plumage. More importantly, they are used for holding casualties safely and securely whilst they are being assessed or whilst medication is administered.
A bird's condition can deteriorate rapidly through the stress involved in being handled, so falconers must be able to catch up and hold them tightly, but safely in order that handling time is kept to a minimum.
Towels are also ideal for lining hospital night boxes in which casualties can be rested in dark, quiet conditions whilst healing - the soft fabric provides good purchase for talons on weakened or tired legs.
The large numbers of baby owls which are admitted to the hospital, having fallen from nests, during the Spring months also enjoy the warmth and comfort of a towel in their brooders!
As supplies of hospital towels were getting low, an appeal went out to the public via social media. Within 24 hours local and national newspapers and T.V. news channels had made the story their own! Towels of every size and colour started to pour into the raptor hospital within a couple of days.
The generosity of supporters - not just locally but from all over the world - was truly astounding and we would like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for their thoughtful donations, from the U.S.A. to the Netherlands and from Cumbria to the Head Office of Tesco in Bath!
Our hospital patients now have a storeroom of dry clean towels to enjoy for many months to come. THANK YOU.