A WAMBROOK animal sanctuary has received a £2,800 boost from our Cash for Charities campaign, backed by the Gannett Foundation.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary was one of 10 charities in Wales and the west of England nominated by our readers for a share of a £16,000 cash giveaway.

Each charity's share of the cash prize was decided by a vote using tokens available in our newspapers.

Ferne has been awarded £2,807.87. The money will go towards modernising its chinchilla house, which provides a home for 15 animals.

Chard & Ilminster News: Fern Nicklen and Katherine McGregor at the animal sanctuary near Chard.Fern Nicklen and Katherine McGregor at the animal sanctuary near Chard. (Image: Steve Richardson)

Emma Green, trusts & grants officer, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the amount raised by Cash for Charities and are so grateful for all who took the time to nominate us and to collect the tokens!

The sanctuary is the home to twelve chinchillas and three degus. Like all animals at Ferne, they have arrived with us as their owners could no longer care for them.  

“They are in desperate need of an update to their house, and this funding will be able us to do just that.

“We are particularly excited about replacing the existing plywood flooring with tiles to help provide a cooler environment.

“Chinchillas cannot tolerate heat or humidity and can suffer from overheating, heatstroke and stress if the temperatures are too high, so this really will make such a difference!”

Ferne Animal Sanctuary was founded after the outbreak of World War II by Nina Douglas-Hamilton at her Ferne Estate in Dorset.

She founded the charity because she realised that people going to war had nobody to take care of their animals and needed to find them temporary homes.

Since then, it has rehomed and rehabilitated thousands of animals. It relocated to its current premises in 1975 and opened a visitor centre in 2017.

The Cash for Charities scheme launched in August, when readers were invited to nominate local good causes. Voting closed on November 20.

Three Somerset charities have benefitted: Ferne Animal Sanctuary, Age UK Somerset (Taunton) and Escape Support Group (Creech St Michael).

In total, £128,000 was provided by Newsquest's parent company's charitable arm, The Gannett Foundation, to support local charities across the UK.