Caring six-year-old raises £1,000 for West Sussex animal and rescue centre after appeal — but more help is needed
A kind-hearted six-year-old boy has cycled and walked ten miles to raise £1,000 for an animal and rescue centre in Sidlesham, following an appeal for donations.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre, at Holborow Lodge, Chalder Lane, has lost most of its income after closing its three charity shops. It has also not been able to rehome any of its animals.
"We are trying our best to help as many cats, rabbits and guinea pigs needing homes and have helped some NHS staff who have needed to rehome pets too," animal care manager Claire Hyde said.
"We are working with minimal staff at this time but still providing all the care and attention that our animals need."
Animal-lover Arlan West, from Selsey, was sitting at home watching television with his mum when he revealed he wanted to help the charity.
Mum Natalie said: "He has got a bit of love for the Cat and Rabbit anyway as they go into the schools. We go to their open days every year.
"He's got a love for animals and has done a lot of fundraising off his own back.
"We tried to work out the logistics of it in lockdown and how we were going to do it. We worked out a sponsored walk/ride would probably work.
"Originally he only aimed for £100 and even then we thought the family would have to put a lot of that in, assuming that nobody has got a lot of money at the moment."
However, Natalie's Facebook posts 'went ballistic' and her 'caring young lad' reached £1,000 after the six-day challenge.
Natalie said: "We are very proud of him.
"He's raised a lot of money for lots of different charities. He struggles socially so it's his way of helping.
"If everybody just gives a little [to the charity], even if it's just a message to share the post.
"You never know who might see it. It's not always about the money but it all helps at the moment."
Claire said the charity was very grateful for Arlan's efforts, and everyone who spared some money, but appealed for further donations.
She said: "It's not a great situation for us and we are just appealing for people to make any small donation.
"We've got 200 animals here at the moment and that's going to be rising, as it does every year to 350 or so.
"The longer the lockdown goes on, we are going to have to be very careful as to what we are taking. It's tough for us but we're still at the end of the phone for help and advice.
"We are getting a good response, even if it's only comments from people and small donations, and we're keeping in good spirits.
"We are very proud of the staff who are working very hard.
"We are just reaching out to people and we know it's a difficult time for people but it would be great if anyone could spare us anything at this time."
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