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The Corporation

Posted: 19/05/22

Animal care students pull together for wildlife charity’s Cheryl

Animal care students at West Nottinghamshire College have been putting their hearts and minds together to support a tragedy at a local wildlife charity.

  • Cheryl Martins at the new premises in Pleasley Vale
  • Cheryl has sadly lost pets and most of her possessions in the fire at her Mansfield Woodhouse home
  • Just one of the animals receiving care at the rescue centre
  • Reanna Davies hopes to walk over 100 miles this month to raise money for Mansfield Wildlife Rescue Centre
  • Animal care students will continue to raise funds to support the rescue centre and Cheryl personally

Level 1 and Level 2 students had recently been working on a variety of ways to raise funds for Pleasley Vale-based Mansfield Wildlife Rescue, to support the move to its new premises, following a visit to the college by owner Cheryl Martins.

And now they’re doubling up on their efforts following Wednesday night’s tragic news that Cheryl lost everything in her home in a fire, including some of her own pets.

Cheryl had recently spoken to the students about the rescue centre which she has run from her Mansfield Woodhouse home for over 18 years. Having outgrown the garden housing a range of rescue animal such as foxes, ducks, owls, parrots and squirrels, Cheryl was successful in obtaining planning permission in the New Year to move into former plant nursery on Common Lane, Pleasley Vale.

Her search to find, fund and prepare a new venue, set within five acres of woodland has taken many years, but Cheryl had planned for the new rescue centre to be up and running this summer.

Sadly on the night of 18 May, while Cheryl was out at the charity’s board meeting, a fire swept through her Mansfield Woodhouse home, where she houses rescue animals and her own pets. Cheryl has lost some of her beloved animals as well as most of her possessions.

Students had already been putting creative fundraising initiatives into motion included raffles and tombolas, cake sales, hair-braiding on fellow students, guess the name of the monkey and unicorn and number of sweets in a jar. Now they will be doubling up their efforts to raise the much-needed cash.

They’d also taken on some energetic ways of raising cash for the charity with a sponsored marathon. Last week, students completed 27 miles jointly on the sports field at the college’s Derby Road campus, with them completing so many laps each to rack up the miles.

Seventeen-year-old Level 2 student Reanna Davies has spent the last three weeks going through her own paces with a staggered sponsored walk, which will see her cover over 100 miles throughout May.

Reanna said: “We met Cheryl when she came into college and we love her charity. It’s amazing how she started out her rescue mission from her garden. We’re so very sad to hear what happened to her home and her animals, but we’ll do all we can to support her.

“I will carry on with my sponsored walk. Even my dog has enjoyed it although she only has little legs.  

“I walk around the local woodland between college and work times, then at weekends I do bigger walks. I’m getting donations from friends and family and I’d like to gather in what I can for Cheryl. “

The following quote was given to us by Cheryl prior to the incident. We are respecting her privacy at this difficult time with regards getting an update from her, but our thoughts are with her and the students will continue to raise funds in earnest.

Cheryl said: “I’ve rescued animals from home unofficially for 35 years and from my garden for 18 years. I simply outgrew the garden and I’ve been working to secure this new space for over five years. Now we’re here it’s great because we can cater for more animals and we’ll be able to release owls, deer, foxes and badgers straight into this woodland setting.

“I’m really excited to work with the college and be able to offer students additional experience of hand-rearing animals in rescue situations which will help them with their coursework and experience. We can offer work placement options and they’ll be great to work with.”

Mansfield Wildlife Rescue’s plans for the future also include incorporating a café, small soft play area for children, a vegetable patch and a woodland walk behind the centre which can cater for wheelchair access.

Cheryl added: “I’m aiming to be open to the public in the summer school holidays so that families can come along and find out more about us. We’re so fortunate to be able to have this space not only for the animals in need but for the wider community.”

To donate to the Go Fund Me page to help Cheryl please visit https://tinyurl.com/yc6etfpp

To donate to the charity directly please visit www.peoplesfundraising.com/donation/mansfieldwildliferescue