Hedgehog helpers need some elf assistance to make gains from Shepreth Santa grotto

Could you help raise funds to care for hedgehogs?

Could you help raise funds to care for hedgehogs? - Credit: Archant

Denise Graham of Royston Volunteer Centre highlights ways in which you can get involved

A major reason for volunteering is having fun and meeting new friends – and this week I am highlighting an excellent way of doing this, with the added bonus of really making a difference to a declining population, all in the spirit of Christmas!

Hedgehogs now appear to be declining in the UK at the same rate as tigers are globally – at around five per cent a year, both in rural and urban habitats. Our featured organisation this week needs your help to protect these much loved animals.

The Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital, which officially opened in November 2012, is based at Shepreth Wildlife Park and volunteers back up the three staff and trustees.

Hedgehogs, which may be orphaned, injured, sick or underweight, are brought in by members of the public and nurtured back to health at the hospital before being released back into the wild. The project successfully rehabilitates and releases hundreds of hedgehogs each year.

The service now costs more than £2,000 every month, so fundraising is a priority.

You can help raise that money as a volunteer at the park’s Santa’s Grotto, which will be open at the weekends on December 6 and 7 and December 13 and 14, and then from Saturday, December 20 through to Christmas Eve.

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The Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity is looking for a volunteer elves – costume provided – to act as Santa’s helpers, as well as Christmas fundraising volunteers to sell gifts and charity merchandise.

Just get in touch and we will put you in contact with the team.