IFAW Awards – and Notes


Awards Presentation Brian May

Our first award, the Wildlife Rescue Award goes to Anne Brummer.

Anne founded the Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue Centre in Surrey to nurse injured and orphaned wild animals and birds back to health, after the initial rescue and care of a hedgehog 25 years ago.

The centre now has 27 volunteers and last year treated more than 1,600 wild animals.

Anne goes out on most of the rescues herself. She has clambered over roofs and down drains, swam across rivers and waded through lakes to rescue foxes, badgers and deer amongst other animals.

‘The centre runs on two sites and I was so impressed with her work that I have established a sanctuary on my own land for animals from the centre in need of rehabilitation’.

Anne Brummer: Wildlife Rescue Award



Our second award, the Education Award goes to Jenny Clark.

Like Anne, Jenny’s work started with the rescue of one animal – an injured bat which she and her husband nursed back to health. After joining the local bat group, Jenny offered to take in any injured bats and then went on to found the Sussex Bat Hospital.

Now one of the UK’s most respected bat carers, Jenny provides an emergency care and rescue service for hundreds of sick, injured and orphaned bats each year.

Jenny undertakes many hours of educational tours around the South East of England to raise awareness of these misunderstood creatures, and of the need for their conservation.

She uses some of her long-term bat residents which are not fit enough to be returned to the wild to promote bat welfare to young people, from pre-school age to university students.

Jenny Clark: Education Award

[Baroness Gale to present Jenny Clark her award]

Our next award goes to Denise Ward – the Campaigner of the Year Award.

Denise is the driving force behind a film which sown some devastating results of hunting in the UK.

In October 2005, Denise had a shocking encounter with her local hunt when hounds rampaged through her village, attacking a screaming deer. She was so affected by the experience and other hunt-related incidents that people reported to her, that she worked with an independent filmmaker to create ‘A Minority Pastime’.

The film follows Denise as she embarks on a personal journey to find the truth behind hunting with dogs. It examines the conduct of hunts since the hunting ban was introduced.

The film has been previewed at the House of Commons and an extended trailer of an updated version narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart was shown at the recent Labour Party Conference.

Denise Ward: Campaigner of the Year Award

[Baroness Gale to present Denise Ward her award]

IFAW would like to present our Conservation Award to a Welsh badger protection group founded 35 years ago – Badger Watch and Rescue, Dyfed.

Badger expert Michael Sharratt started the group after he became aware of badger baiting in the area and the organisation now has 80 members working to protect and rescue badgers in the region.

The group works closely with the RSPCA, particularly on badger culling which it strongly opposes. It also runs three rescue centres across three counties for injured and orphaned badgers which are always released back into the wild after rehabilitation.

Michael, who has cared for more than 130 badgers and Gordon Lumby, the organisation’s secretary, are here today to accept the Conservation Award on behalf of the group.

[Baroness Gale to present Michael and Gordon their award]


Our next award, the Pet Rescue Award goes to Pam Mansfield.

Pam founded the Exotic Pet Refuge in Peterborough in 1985 with her late husband. The couple started caring for animals in their home when they rescued a snake which was about to be thrown into a river and then more and more animals were brought to them.

The four acre-site refuge currently houses more than 350 different animals, taken in from zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and owners who can no longer look after them, as well as injured native wildlife. These include 30 primates, lynx, wolves, reptiles, birds and an alligator. There is always a long waiting list of animals that need a home.

The animals at the refuge require a great deal of specialist care from Pam, her son Darren and a team of volunteers.

Pam Mansfield: Pet Rescue Award

[Baroness Gale to present Pam Mansfield her award]


Our next award today goes to Obi, a Metropolitan police dog who receives our Animal Bravery award for service protecting the public during this summer’s riots.

Three-year-old German Shepherd Obi was on frontline duties alongside handler PC Phil Wells in London in August when they came under heavy bombardment from bottles, street furniture and petrol bombs.

Obi was hit by a missile, thought to be a brick, above his left eye. After passing an initial check, he continued to work for several hours, but was later taken to the Queen’s Veterinary Hospital in Cambridge where a scan revealed a fracture to his skull.

Just last week Obi was given the all-clear to return to duty.

Although a working dog, at home with PC Wells and his family, Obi is a much-loved pet.

Obi the German Shepherd: Animal Bravery Award

[Baroness Gale to present Obi’s handler PC Wells with the award]

The next recipient is unfortunately not well enough to attend the ceremony but in his absence we would like to honour him with an Animal Life Saver Award.

Mike Dunn is a firefighter for the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and was part of a team called to a house fire in March this year. After putting the fire out, the team found an animal in the heavily smoked-logged house. The dog was passed to Mike who resuscitated her by using mouth to mouth techniques – holding her snout closed and blowing into her nostrils.

Sunny the terrier made a full recovery after the incident to the delight of her owners. We would like to send Mike and his family our best wishes for a full recovery.

[No award to present – move straight on]


Our next award, the Special Care Award, goes to Sue Gessey.

Horse healer Sue runs the Animal Healing Trust in the Midlands, which she founded with partner Richard in 2008 to care for homeless and suffering horses and give them a secure home to live out their days.

The Trust’s mission is to help and house horses when vets and owners are no longer able to help. Some horses bound for slaughterhouses have been rescued, along with others previously used for laboratory testing.

Sue uses alternative therapies including reiki, homeopathy and aromatherapy in the care, treatment and rehabilitation of the animals.

Since the Trust opened, Sue and her team of volunteers have helped rescue over 20 horses.

[Baroness Gale to present Sue her award]



Our second animal award today – the Amazing Animal Award – goes to Danny, a greyhound who works as a ‘listening dog’ as part of a scheme to improve literacy in young children.

Danny is part of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs – or READ – programme which encourages children to read aloud in front of a dog, to help them build their confidence and ability.

Danny’s owner Tony Nevett brought the pioneering scheme to the UK from the US with his previous greyhound. Danny took over duties last year.

Tony and Danny currently visit primary schools and libraries across Staffordshire, Devon and Kent. Already many youngsters who were previously uncomfortable reading aloud, have overcome their insecurities thanks to Danny’s reassuring presence alongside them.

Danny the greyhound: Amazing Animal Award

[Baroness Gale to present Danny’s owner Tony Nevett the award]

Scotland-based Juanita Wilson is the recipient of our next award, the Community Award.

The Mossburn Community Farm was originally set up as an equine charity in 1987 after Juanita took in her first sick horse Merlin and nursed it back to health.

Now on a much larger site, Mossburn takes in abused, neglected and unwanted animals and currently provides sanctuary to ponies, pigs, ferrets, sheep, cattle and many other animals.

The centre currently has 170 horses in different foster placements, as well as 12 which are permanent residents at the farm and are used for equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning.

In 2001, Juanita secured a landmark legal ruling which prevented repeated attempts to destroy all the centre’s animals during that year’s Foot and Mouth outbreak.

Juanita Wilson: Community Award

[Baroness Gale to present Juanita Wilson her award]

Our final award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, goes to Rolf Harris.

One of Britain’s best-loved entertainers, Rolf Harris has shown a lifetime of care for animals.

His work with animals is familiar to many through his 10 years of presenting BBC1’s hit show ‘Animal Hospital’, which covered many aspects of animal care and welfare. The programme went on to win the National Television Awards ‘Most Popular Factual Entertainment Show’ five times.

Rolf also presented ‘Rolf’s Amazing World of Animals’ where he highlighted animal rescue and conservation projectsaround the world.

Rolf has also used his public profile to raise animal welfare issues close to his heart, particularly the plight of young harp seals in Canada, killed in their thousands every year for their fur. Rolf penned a protest song ‘Slaughter on the Ice’ to campaign for an end to the commercial hunt.

For his dedication to protection of animals over many years:

Rolf Harris: Lifetime Achievement Award

[Baroness Gale to present Rolf his award]


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