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Hello! I’m David, the Fundraising Manager at Secret World Wildlife Rescue. Some of you will know me from meeting me at events, or as the person who does a wild fundraising challenge around this time of year. For everyone else, I’m the one who sends you all the appeal letters, emails, newsletters, etc. to raise money for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife and to thank you for your support.

It’s a tough and never-ending job, but it’s such a pleasure working with all you wildlife lovers to save wildlife together.

 On that subject, I need your help again! I’m taking on a big challenge this year and I hope that, as a team, we can raise lots of money for wildlife.

As with lots of challenges, this one starts with a silly idea.

I was asking people for ideas for a fundraising challenge I could do in 2024. A 24-hour challenge made sense, what with it being ’24 and Secret World now offering its telephone advice line 24 hours a day, and as someone who is phobic of exercise, it would have to be something physical.

My partner, who is incredibly creative and likes to see me suffer, suggested I do a line dance. I am not a dancer. I’ve done the Macarena a couple of times, but that’s it.

So I’m going to be line dancing. For 24 hours. Mostly by myself, but I’ll have people joining in throughout the challenge.

My hope is to livestream the whole thing and make it interactive. More details on that to come.

For now, please take a minute to read about why I’m doing this challenge.

Every year, over 2 million sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals are admitted to wildlife rescue centres. 40% of these are a direct result of human activity.

Let that sink in. Almost a million animals suffering because they’re caught by pets, hit by cars, trapped in litter and garden netting, disturbed during construction, and sadly sometimes as a result of intentional cruelty.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue help redress the balance by giving these animals a second chance at life in the wild. We rescue and rehabilitate wildlife from all over Somerset, always with the goal of an eventual release.

A lot of the animals are in a bad way when they come through the doors, and the majority don’t make it. Secret World is not a sanctuary, and doesn’t believe in keeping animals alive in captivity or releasing them if they’re at a severe disadvantage. Our work is about prolonging life, not delaying death, and getting animals back to the wild where they belong.

Education is a huge part of what they do, and perhaps has a bigger impact on wildlife than the thousands of animals they help every year.

I’m getting out of my comfort zone by learning to dance, then attempting to do it for 24 hours (with the odd toilet break, obviously.) I’m sure I’ll suffer on the day, but it’s nothing compared with the suffering humans are inflicting on our precious wildlife.

So, if you want to see me suffer, please consider getting involved. If you want to help end wildlife suffering needlessly, please donate. Maybe it’s a bit of both! Either way, I hope you’ll agree it’s a worthy cause and that my dancing at least gives you a laugh.

How you can help

There are a few ways you can get involved:

 

🤠 Sign up for a dance class. We have extremely limited places available for beginner’s line dancing classes. Margaret from Somerset Stompers will be running two sessions – 12-1pm and 1-2pm – with eight spaces available on each. Registration is essential, so if you’re interested please email david.plant@secretworld.org and we’ll put people on the list on a first-come, first-served basis. The classes cost £3 per person (please bring cash, this is paid to Margaret) plus a donation to Secret World.
🤠 Join me on the day. Our Bluebell Barn (that’s where I’m doing it, it’s at our centre) will be open to visitors from 9:30am till 8:30pm. You can come along and join in with the dancing, or just watch if you prefer. We’ll be serving be serving hot and cold drinks till 6pm, plus alcoholic drinks from 12pm (don’t drink and dance!) and a barbecue from 12-4pm.
🤠 Watch the action online. I’ll be livestreaming the whole thing so you can still watch even if you can’t make it down on the day. Tune in at 6pm if you can for a special treat from our own Secret World Dancers! You’ll find the stream on my JustGiving page or you can watch directly via Youtube (links below.)
🤠 Make a donation. We’re trying to make a day of it, but ultimately I’m doing this to raise money for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. If you can give anything at all it’ll help us care for this year’s wildlife casualties, plus your support will keep me going. If you donate during the event you might see your name pop up on the live feed!
Thank you so much, it’s going to be touch but thinking about how we’re helping wildlife together will keep me going!

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